Story by Brittany Sprout, Public Affairs Specialist
Check out the full Story Map here: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/30ee2b1c2c0049e9a91536ef3c27fa46
As the main fire season in Colorado comes to an end, our BLM fire program is preparing to shift gears and focus on treatments and fuel management through the winter and spring. Fuel treatments allow us to remove hazardous fuels by reducing or rearranging surface fuels, increasing spacing between tree crowns, or spacing out other vegetation to reduce the possibility of a fire “spreading out”. extends” from the ground to the canopy across a landscape. Fuels treatments can also focus on removing invasive species to allow fire-resistant native species to regrow in the area.
Fuels, fuels, fuels…
Lakemoor West treatments have had a positive impact on bringing the High Park fire under control in 2022. Almost 20 years ago, BLM carried out hand thinning and prescribed fire treatments to reduce combustibles dangerous in Lakemoor West, 5.5 miles west of Cripple Creek, Colorado. On May 12, 2022, the High Park Fire was reported in the same area and brought under control 12 days later.
Prior fuel treatments have allowed safe and successful deployment of suppression assets. The treatments have also created a healthy forest that is resistant to wildfires, and the trees that survived the fire have increased the height from the closet branch to the ground, which will make the area even more resistant to wildfires. in the future. Who would have thought that our actions twenty years ago would be so crucial and beneficial to ensuring security today? (I think our fuel specialists did!)
The recent bipartisan Infrastructure Act allocated additional funds for wildfire risk reduction efforts, which will go a long way in helping our program meet our fuel treatment goals. The BLM values the creation of a resilient landscape on public lands to ensure that future generations can enjoy the lands in the same way as past generations. Our fire program looks forward to more fuel treatment successes like Lakemoor West in the future!
This story map would not have been possible without our GIS Specialist, Marlinda Jacks, and our Natural Resources Specialist, Glenda Torres. Learn more about treatments, fire and benefits in the story map – including interactive GIS maps: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/30ee2b1c2c0049e9a91536ef3c27fa46