Recent Fires at Mesa Verde
Contact: Steve Underwood, 970-529-5049
The latest fire in Mesa Verde National Park was started by lightning on July 24 and discovered during the following evening. The Morefield Fire is located approximately two miles south of Morefield Campground on the top of Morefield Ridge. It is 1/10th of an acre in size and is currently exhibiting smoldering and creeping fire behavior. It is being suppressed using a contain/confine strategy and may put up smoke intermittently over the next week.
Last week, on the evening of Monday, July 18, heavy thunderstorms caused over 1,500 recorded lightning strikes in Montezuma County, and about 100 strikes within the borders of Mesa Verde National Park. Five small fires were located in the national park, and one reported fire is still being searched for along the north escarpment. Our fire resources also helped with a cluster of eight fires on BLM lands west of Cortez, ten on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation to the south and west of the park, and one fire on Weber Mountain, just east of Mesa Verde.
The Mesa Verde fire crew is still on the lookout for a smoldering tree north of the Wetherill Mesa road and to the west of the Far View water tanks that has not been observed but not yet located by ground forces.
For more information, call Fire Management Officer Steve Underwood at 970-529-5049.
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.