News Release

Great Sand Dunes National Park Postpones Planned Liberty Prescribed Burn

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Date: November 4, 2021
Contact: Kathy Faz, 719-378-6341

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has postponed the Liberty prescribed burning operation that was scheduled for November 8-12. The prescribed burn is part of Great Sand Dunes National Park’s hazardous fuels reduction efforts. Fire managers from the park in partnership with Rio Grande National Forest were preparing to burn up to 3,300 acres near the park’s northern boundary, located south of Baca Grande Subdivision, and approximately three miles south of Crestone, Colorado.

Each prescribed burn is planned well in advance and has a specific set of fuel and weather conditions necessary for the fire to achieve the desired effects on the landscape, disperse smoke, and ensure that firefighters can keep the fire within the burn unit. Rio Grande National Forest and National Park Service firefighters looked at conditions such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and fuel moistures and determined the conditions over the burn area were not expected to be within the pre-defined parameters, or prescription. These elements are very important to analyze so the prescribed burn can be conducted safely and effectively. The burn will be delayed until conditions become favorable.

“We appreciate all the work that our partners at Rio Grande National Forest put into helping us plan this operation and also their patience as we postpone it to a future date,” said Pam Rice, Great Sand Dunes National Park Superintendent. “Prescribed burning is an important part of fire management on public land. We look forward to working with our partners in the future to conduct projects like this that will ultimately help reduce the risk of high intensity high severity fires and make it safer for local communities,” added Rice.

To learn more about the role of prescribed fire on National Park Service lands visit https://www.nps.gov/articles/what-is-hazard-fuel-reduction.htm.



Last updated: November 4, 2021

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