Mesa Verde to Implement Prescribed Fire
Contact: Steve Underwood, 970-529-5049
Mesa Verde National Park is planning to implement a prescribed fire during the week of September 22, 2013 as weather allows. This controlled burn is being conducted to reduce the wildland fire hazard and promote regeneration within a stand of ponderosa pine at the south end of Wetherill Mesa.
The Bobcat Canyon Restoration Prescribed Fire is 10 acres in size and is primarily comprised of ponderosa pine, gamble oak, pinyon and juniper. This fire is part of an effort to protect one of the last remaining stands of ponderosa pine within the park. Most other stands of ponderosa have experienced high mortality rates due to the recent drought in combination with the large, intense fires over the past 15 years.
Burning at this time of year should produce low intensity fire behavior while still achieving desired fuel reduction goals.
Ignition operations should take 1 to 2 days, but the unit may produce smoke for several days afterwards. Visitors to Mesa Verde may see smoke in the southwestern part of the park during these activities. For more information contact Steve Underwood, Mesa Verde Fire Management Officer, 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.