• Overlooking Chetro Ketl

    Chaco Culture

    National Historical Park New Mexico

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Prescribed Fire at Chaco Culture NHP

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Date: April 19, 2007
Contact: Barbara West, (505) 786-7014 x 230
Contact: Brad Harris, (970) 529-5066
Contact: Brad Shattuck, (505) 786-7014 x 223

Chaco Culture National Historical Park fire management officials would like to advise visitors of a prescribed fire project scheduled for this spring sometime after April 18, depending on weather and fuel conditions. The area scheduled for treatment lies approximately 5 air miles south of the Lake Valley community.

Approximately 50 acres of Tamarisk slash piles are planned for ignition adjacent to the Kin Bineola Wash four miles to the east of New Mexico Highway 371. Objectives of this burn are to reduce the number and density of the slash piles by 80-100%. The burning is a single phase of a larger invasive species reduction project currently under implementation at the park. In addition, reducing hazard fuel build-up near park structures, natural and cultural resources, roads, and private lands will slow future wildland fire spread, improve protection capabilities, and reduce associated costs. Managers hope for warm, breezy afternoons prior to the burn to dry out the piles for better consumption.

Officials want to emphasize that the burn will only take place if and when optimum weather, fuel moisture, and smoke dispersal parameters are met. These parameters are identified in the project specific burn plan. For further information concerning the planned prescribed fire activities, please contact Brad Harris, Mesa Verde NP Hazardous Fuels Assistant Fire Management Officer, ph: 970-529-5066.

 

Did You Know?

Photo of Richard Wetherill's coal mine

Richard Wetherill came to Chaco Canyon in 1896 and worked with the American Museum of Natural History. He operated a ranch and trading post there until his death in 1910. To keep warm during the frigid Chaco winters, Richard burned low-grade coal from a mine he constructed.