Hazardous fuels reduction work continues at RMNP
The reduction of hazardous fuels is a significant preventative management tool used in preparation for managing wildfire near structures and communities. As seen with the Fern Lake Fire, previous reduction of hazardous fuels aided firefighters in stopping the fire within the park when it made its more than 3 mile run on the morning of December 1, 2012. Ultimately, these projects are done to protect life and property and enhance the safety of firefighters and their ability to manage fire within the park.
Fire Management staff at Rocky Mountain National Park completed pile burns on 250 acres this past winter and completed over 125 acres of cutting and hauling along Bear Lake Road so far this spring. Upcoming projects for this year include treatment on 124 acres in the Mill Creek and Glacier Creek areas on both sides of Bear Lake Road, 50 acres along Bear Lake Road above the Sprague Lake Junction and road side fuel reduction between Deer Ridge Junction and Fall River Entrance later this fall. The upcoming projects will include some traffic control and park visitors may experience up to ten minute delays while work is taking place.
Work will include removing dead trees, the lower limbs of remaining trees, ladder fuels, dead and down logs, and the removal of selected trees to increase canopy spacing. Resulting woody materials will be piled on site and burned in the following winters or may be used during upcoming years for firewood permits, depending on location.
These projects are not designed as a stand-alone defense against wildfires, nor are they guaranteed to hold wildfire in the worst conditions.
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