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

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

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    Due to recent hot, dry, and windy conditions, the park is currently at very high fire danger. The following fire restrictions are in effect: No open fires are permitted anywhere within the park. Smoking is only permitted inside an enclosed vehicle. More »

Pile Burns At Mesa Verde National Park in February

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Date: February 10, 2014
Contact: Betty Lieurance, 970-529-4608
Contact: Steve Underwood, 970-529-5049

Mesa Verde National Park fire management staff plans to implement a pile burn within the park. The burn will take place on Chapin Mesa with one large pile near the four-way intersection in the vicinity of park headquarters. The objective of this burn is to consume the existing accumulation of woody material from past fuel reduction projects.  

The pile consists of branches and brush generated from maintaining defensible space around park buildings during the past summer. Fire crews removed encroaching vegetation in order to aid in the management of wildland fires and also to help the structural fire crew in its efforts to protect park buildings. The project followed guidelines of the National Fire Protection Association's "Firewise Communities" program, and was developed and funded through the Wildland Urban Interface Initiative in cooperation with the National Fire Plan. 

The removal of hazard fuels should help protect structures in the event of a nearby wildland fire. Protection of structures is a very important aspect of fire management at Mesa Verde. It is estimated that it will take one to two days to complete ignition and clean-up operations of the piles. 

Smoke impact for the project is expected to be minimal. However, visitors to the park may encounter smoke on the roadway during the Chapin Mesa pile burn. Please drive carefully and watch for fire personnel, vehicles, and warning signs in the vicinity of the project.  

Fire managers plan to light the pile during the month of February. The burn will only take place when weather and smoke dispersal parameters are met. For further information concerning these burns, please contact Steve Underwood, Fire Management Officer, at (970)529-5049.


-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.