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Rocky Mountain National Park Announces Plans for Prescribed Burning

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Date: August 18, 2009
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363
Contact: Mike Lewelling, 970-586-1287

Fire managers from Rocky Mountain National Park are preparing to conduct prescribed burns in the areas of Upper Beaver Meadows, Little Horseshoe Park, and South Lateral Moraine. Burning will only occur if favorable weather and fuel conditions permit. The Upper Beaver Meadows burn is approximately 150 acres located north of Upper Beaver Meadows road and south of Trail Ridge road. The Little Horseshoe Park burn is approximately 120 acres North East of Deer Ridge Junction and south of Horseshoe Park. The South Lateral Moraine burn is approximately 200 acres north of Hollowell Park and North East of Tuxedo Park. Ignition will likely occur in different areas on different days to limit daily smoke production. The primary goal of the project is to reduce the threat of wildland fire to adjacent communities and park infrastructure by using prescribed fire to reduce the amount of fuel available in the project area.

Prescribed burning operations may begin as early as August 31 and continue through October depending on when weather and fuel conditions are appropriate. Ignition will likely occur on a weekday with smoldering and smoke emissions lasting for an additional 3-10 days. Smoke will be visible from Highways 34 and 36 as well as other locations in the park. Every effort will be made to minimize smoke impacts to visitors and the adjacent community; however some smoke is anticipated to flow down the Beaver Brook, Big Thompson and Fall River corridors and into the Town of Estes Park in the morning hours. No trail closures are anticipated but visitors hiking past actively burning areas may be escorted by fire personnel to ensure their safety.

Safety factors, weather conditions, air quality, personnel availability and environmental regulations are continually monitored as a part of any fire management operation. For more information please contact the park’s information office at (970) 586-1206.

Did You Know?

a photo of Elizabeth Burnell, the nation's first female nature guide

Rocky Mountain National Park licensed the nation’s first female nature guides in 1917. Sisters Ester and Elizabeth Burnell learned the naturalist trade from advocate and author Enos Mills.