Controlled Burn Near Park Headquarters
Contact: Tessy Shirakawa, 970-529-4628
With the recent snowfall, Mesa Verde National Park fire management staff will be conducting the annual large pile burn in the park. The burn will take place on Chapin Mesa near the “four-way intersection” in the vicinity of Park Headquarters. The objective is to consume the existing accumulation of brush from this past summer’s fuel reduction projects.
The project has become an annual activity, as each year hazard fuel reduction projects throughout the park result in slash deposited at the burn pile location. These fuel reduction activities include maintenance of existing fuelbreaks on Chapin Mesa, removal of pinyon pine mortality and other hazardous fuels surrounding park infrastructure and improvements, and treatments to protect identified cultural and natural resource features.
Fire managers hope to light the pile in the next two weeks. The pile will be ignited early one day and monitored for several days thereafter as it burns completely down to ash. The pile may continue to smolder for up to a week depending on weather conditions. Following the burn the location will be available for future brush accumulation from planned fuel reduction activities.
The burn will only take place when optimum weather and smoke dispersal parameters are met. For further information concerning this pile burn, please contact Allen Farnsworth, Mesa Verde Fire Management Officer at 970-529-5049.
Did You Know?
On a snowy December day in 1888, while ranchers Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason searched Mesa Verde’s canyons for stray cattle, they unexpectedly came upon Cliff Palace for the first time. The following year, the Wetherill brothers and Mason explored an additional 182 cliff dwellings.