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Contact: Dan Johnson, (435) 781-7702
DINOSAUR, CO – The fires on Wild Mountain within Dinosaur National Monument continued to grow slowly both yesterday and today. Currently, the fires are estimated to be approximately 380 acres, up from approximately 360 acres on Friday. The fires remain within the Colorado portion of Dinosaur National Monument and pose no threat to any structures or surrounding property. There is also no threat to either the Jones Hole or Harpers Corner areas of the monument even though visitors to those areas may encounter smoke.
The fires are located in very rough, steep and inaccessible terrain which poses safety hazards to firefighters. The National Park Service is currently cooperating with the Bureau of Land Management on the management of the fires in the event of movement down a drainage and towards the monument boundaries.
The fires are primarily being managed for the natural benefits fire provides, including fuel reduction, returning nutrients to the soil and improving wildlife habitat and forage. Fire crews are beginning suppression actions on one flank of the fire to prevent further spread in that direction. Fire managers continue to coordinate with private inholdings within that portion of the monument to protect private property.
In addition to the fire crew from Dinosaur National Monument, a helicopter and the Black Hills Fire Module from South Dakota are now on scene. A total of 24 personnel, not including additional support from other monument staff, are assisting with fire operations. The Canyon Overlook and Picnic Area along the Harpers Corner Road are closed to the public for use as a helicopter landing spot.
Visitors to the monument and residents of the nearby communities of Vernal, Roosevelt, and Rangely may see smoke rising from the Wild Mountain area. Depending on winds and temperatures, smoke may also settle in the river canyons and particularly the Echo Park area of the monument.
Visitors are advised to avoid the Wild Mountain area of the monument both for their safety and to not interfere with fire operations. The fire is not located near the Dinosaur Quarry and visitor services or facilities other than the Canyon Overlook on the Harpers Corner Road have not been affected by fire operations. For more information on Dinosaur National Monument, call us at (435) 781-7700.