Rocky Mountain National Park fire managers plan to take advantage of upcoming wet or winter weather conditions to burn off piles of slash generated by several fuel reduction projects and the removal of dangerous trees. Tailings from these projects have been cut and stacked by park fire crews and contractors over the past two years and are now dry enough to burn.
In tackling the troublesome eastern blaze in 2020, firefighters were able to take advantage of previous and existing prescribed burn and hazardous fuel treatment areas that provided a buffer zone between the blaze and the town of Estes Park. Past projects on hazardous fuels have been of great help in preventing the blaze from blowing up on Bear Lake and Trail Ridge Roads. Years of hazardous fuel reduction and west side bark beetle removal projects have contributed to the successful burning operations around the Town of Grand Lake and have helped to minimize structural loss in the residential area of the main park.
Battery burning operations will not begin until conditions permit. The piles can be found in a variety of locations including areas near the park boundary with Allenspark, near Lily Lake, west of Deer Mountain, near the Moraine Park Campground, in the Willow Park area at next to Old Fall River Road and the west side of the park.
Fuel reduction projects are designed to reduce large accumulations of forest fuels that can generate extreme or problematic fire behavior near the urban interface of virgin forest. By reducing the potential fire behavior, the risk of forest fires to firefighters and the public is greatly reduced. However, these projects are not intended as a stand-alone defense against forest fires, nor do they guarantee to hold a forest fire in the worst conditions. Please do your part and complete forest fire mitigation on your property. To learn more about forest fire mitigation around your home, visit www.firewise.org
Safety factors, weather conditions, air quality and other environmental regulations are continuously monitored as part of any fire management operation. Prescribed fire smoke can affect your health. For more information, see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.
For questions about this project or information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park information office at (970) 586-1206 or visit www.nps.gov/r