Rocky Mountain National Park announces winter pile burning operations
Fire managers at Rocky Mountain National Park plan to take advantage of upcoming winter weather conditions to burn piles of slash. About 1,200 piles from several hazard fuels and hazard tree mitigation projects are left to burn, most of them on the east side of the park. Slash has been cut and piled by park fire crews and contractors during the last two years. More than 700 piles were burned last year.
When fighting the Fern Lake Fire in 2013, firefighters were able to take advantage of previous and existing prescribed fire and hazardous fuels treatment areas that provided a buffer between the fire and Estes Park. Prior hazard fuels projects were instrumental in stopping the fire from jumping Bear Lake Road. Because of the reduced fuel loading in treated areas and the fire lines that had already been created in some locations, firefighters had options to directly and safely attack the fire if it moved to those locations.
Pile burning operations will only begin when conditions allow. The piles are located in a variety of locations on the east side of the park including but not limited to areas north of Glacier Basin Campground on Emerald Mountain, the north slope of Deer Mountain, the Lily Lake area, Bear Lake, along Wild Basin Road and power line, Beaver Mountain and in the Pontiac Administrative area on the west side of the park.
Safety factors, weather conditions, air quality and environmental regulations are continually monitored as a part of any fire management operation. For additional information about Rocky Mountain National Park contact the park’s Information Office at 970-586-1206.
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