For approximately one hundred years, fire suppression in the southwest has increased fuel loadings and density of vegetation in many areas. The likelihood of large destructive wildfires in Mesa Verde National Park is increasing due to increased fuel loadings and recent drought conditions, posing threats to the park's infrastructure, cultural and natural resources, and human safety. Because of the increased threat of large wildfires, Mesa Verde has implemented several strategies to help protect the park's resources and human life. In addition to basic suppression, the park has initiated programs for prescribed fire and hazard fuel reduction. Although the threat of fire still exists, Mesa Verde National Park is becoming increasingly prepared to defend itself because of these fire protection and prevention programs.
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Fire News: Latest fire information, including restrictions and advisories.
•Archeology and Fire (8.5" x 14"- pdf, 244 kb) describes how past wildfires have affected archeology and the cultural resources within the park.
•Prescribed Fire and Hazardous Fuels Reduction at Mesa Verde
•Mesa Verde Fire History (8.5" x 11" - pdf, 194 kb) provides an overview of some of the large wildfires in Mesa Verde's past.
Mesa Verde National Park Fire History map:
•Fire History, 1933 - 2008 (pdf, 1.1 mb)
Did You Know?
Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park. It has 150 rooms, plus an additional 75 open areas. Twenty-one of the rooms are kivas, and 25 to 30 rooms have residential features. The number of Ancestral Puebloans living in Cliff Palace at any one time was 100 to 120.