U.S. Bureau Of Land Management Conducts Controlled Burn near Andalex Coal Mine
Firefighters with the United States Bureau of Land Management watch a prescribed burn near Airport Road. The west wind on Tuesday allowed fire crews to burn the area and allow smoke to blow to the west, where it would be less problematic. Winds from any other direction would cause smoke to drift over the airport, limiting visibility, or to the coal mine, where smoke would pollute the air supply to miners working underground. Ground moisture and air temperature also impact whether the BLM can burn. State regulations limit burning, especially in the winter. With all the limitations, the BLM is limited to a handful of days each year that all conditions allow the prescribed burns. Hoping to conclude the current series of burns by the fall of 2006, the BLM is burning fuel left after areas were chained in the 1960s as well as stopping the growth of juniper and pinion. The burns will result in land which will be more usable by wildlife and livestock as well as limit range fire risks.