Closures

In the event of a fire, a national park may close all or some of an area to protect visitors and fire personnel (36 CFR Chap. 1, Section 1.5). Please check the NPS website for closure information prior to travelling. Upon arrival, a ranger can update you on any closed areas due to wildfires or prescribed fires, and also let you know if there are any fire-related programs happening in the area.

Park Closures are Infrequent due to Wildfires and Prescribed Burns

However they do happen from time to time when conditions are considered unsafe for visitors.

Closures due to prescribed burns are usually pre-planned and of short duration (up to several days). Closures may remain in place longer to protect visitors from unstable trees or smoldering fire activity. For your safety, please abide by all closures even if no dangers appear to be present.

Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument had closed to visitors during the Las Conchas fire in summer 2011.

During a wildfire closures may happen quickly and with little warning. If you are in a developed area of the park and a full or partial closure is implemented during your visit, a ranger should contact you and will ask you to evacuate the area calmly and orderly. They will provide information on where to go and how long before you need to leave. If you are in an area with active fire or thick smoke, a ranger may lead a caravan of vehicles through the area.

If you are in an undeveloped area of the park such as the backcountry or wilderness, you may be contacted by a ranger and advised what actions to take. If you are not contacted but feel at risk, take reasonable measures to protect yourself such as moving away from the fire activity. If in imminent danger, find a large clear area free of flammable vegetation such as a large rock outcrop or green meadow well away from the fire.

In all cases remain calm and leave if asked. Rangers are concerned about your safety and need your assistance in completing this important task.