The BLM continues to monitor the Buttermilk fire that has burned about 169 acres within the Gunnison Gorge wilderness about 15 miles NE of Montrose. Forecasts indicate the chance for spreading outside of the wilderness remains minimal although fire crews are in place if suppression is required. Intermittent smoke will be visible throughout the coming days.
FOR RELEASE: July 24, 2018
Contact: Shannon Borders, 970-240-5399 or Chris Asbjorn, 970-240-5317
BLM Uncompahgre Field Office monitors lightning caused Buttermilk Fire near Montrose
MONTROSE, Colo. –The Bureau of Land Management Uncompahgre Field Office is actively managing the lightning-caused Buttermilk Fire burning within the Gunnison Gorge wilderness about 15 miles northeast of Montrose, Colorado. The fire is currently 100 acres, and smoke is visible and may remain visible as the fire continues to burn.
The terrain is very steep and rugged with drainages flanking three-sides of the fire making it hazardous for firefighters to engage. Additionally, due to the remote location, there is no immediate threat to structures or resource values at this time.
“The Wilderness Act prevents motorized or mechanized activities where the fire is burning, and traditional fire suppression relies on vehicles, air support and motorized tools such as chainsaws to safely suppress a fire,” said Randy Chappell, BLM Deputy Fire Management Officer. “Therefore, we are developing plans to secure the fire perimeter if it moves beyond the wilderness area.”
Under current conditions, the fire also presents an opportunity for benefits to the ecosystem in the wilderness area.
“Using past, current and forecasted weather we are developing a management plan that identifies specific steps to protect resource values in this area,” said Chappell. “If needed, additional resources maybe dispatched for fire suppression activities.”