Prescribed Fire at Chaco Culture NHP
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?
Many of the animal mounds you see at Chaco were made by Ord's kangaroo rats. They often dig in the soft midden (trash) areas in sites because they are elevated, easy to dig in, and don’t flood. In their colonies there are often more burrow openings than there are rats! (Drawing courtesy: ICWDM.org)