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Contact: Tessy Shirakawa, 970-529-4628
The Mesa Verde National Park fire management staff will conduct a prescribed fire project this week, weather permitting. The burn will take place near Morefield Campground along the main park road. Approximately 30 acres are planned to be burned.
This burn will reduce flashy fine fuels that can quickly carry fire toward park structures or more heavily forested areas. Fire managers also plan to reduce the accumulation of leaf litter and duff beneath Gambel oak shrubs, lessening the risk of dangerous crown fire and stimulating oak regeneration and the growth of other shrubs and the few conifers in the area. The burn will also target invasive species, such as smooth brome and cheatgrass that stifle the growth of native grasses. There will be short-term impacts to native plants, but they will ultimately be favored by the elimination of their non-native competitors.
This prescribed burn will only take place if and when optimum weather, fuel moisture, and smoke dispersal parameters are met. For further information concerning the planned prescribed fire, please contact Allan Farnsworth, Fire Management Officer at 970-529-5049 or Brad Harris, Fuels Specialist at 970-529-5066.