• View of Square Tower House, seen along the Mesa Top Loop

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Fall Prescribed Burns in Mesa Verde National Park

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Date: October 15, 2009
Contact: Tessy Shirakawa, 970-529-4628

Mesa Verde National Park plans to ignite several small prescribed fires within the park this fall. Approximately 17 acres are scheduled for treatment in the Far View Lodge area, and 32 acres near park headquarters on Chapin Mesa.

Objectives of burning near the Far View Lodge are to reduce flashy fuels such as grass and leaf litter beneath the mountain shrub canopy. Fire managers plan to reduce these fuels to lessen the risk and intensity of a dangerous crown fire in close proximity to the developed area. Along the Wetherill Road, fire managers plan to burn beneath a few mature ponderosa pines to provide a seed bed for natural regeneration.

On Chapin Mesa approximately one mile north of park headquarters, two burn blocks are planned for ignition. The primary objective is to monitor the effects of burning invasive cheatgrass within areas of the Long Mesa Fire of 2002 and to reduce fuels.

The planned controlled burns will take place only when optimum weather, fuel moisture, and smoke dispersal parameters are met. For further information concerning the planned prescribed fire activities, please contact Allen Farnsworth, Mesa Verde Fire Management Officer at 970-529-5049.

For general information on prescribed fires, click on the link below:

Prescribed Fire and Hazardous Fuels Reduction at Mesa Verde
(8.5" x 11" - pdf, 275 kb)

 

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Cliff Palace in the snow

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.