Fire Management

Firefighter with drip torch for a prescribed burn


The Fire Management Branch is part of the Resources Stewardship Division at Rocky Mountain National Park. Wildland Fire is one of many natural resource management techniques that the National Park Service uses to maintain healthy ecosystems.

The 2012 Fire Management Plan (1.3 MB pdf) provides the structure that guides fire management at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Fire Management Mission Statement

Rocky Mountain National Park's fire management program will protect employees and the public, communities and infrastructure, conserve natural and cultural resources and restore and maintain ecological health.

The Mission Statement reflects the three Fire Management Goals. These goals provide the framework for all fire management decisions within Rocky Mountain National Park. In order of importance:

1. Provide for the safety of employees and the public

2. Protect communities, infrastructure, natural and cultural resources

3. Restore and maintain fire adapted ecosystems

Winter pile burning and firefighters responding to an active wildfire.
Top: Winter pile burning removes excess ground litter.
Bottom: Firefighters respond to the 2013 Big Meadows Fire.

NPS/Kelly Boyd

In order to fulfill the Mission and to achieve management goals, the fire program focuses on two main program elements.

1. Fuels Management

Proactive planned activities such as:

  • Prescribed fire
  • Manual and mechanical thinning of forest vegetation with the objective of reducing hazardous fuels around local communities and infrastructure
  • Restoring fire adapted landscapes
  • Other protection and resource management objectives
2. Response to Wildfires

Planning and activities that prepare fire managers to respond to and manage wildfires.


Last updated: April 9, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


(970) 586-1206
Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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