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Contact: Kyle Patterson, (970) 586-1363
If conditions allow, Rocky Mountain National Park staff are planning to burn piles located in the Lily Lake area along Highway 7. These piles were generated in a hazardous fuels reduction project designed to generate a potential barrier in case of wildfire.
The park plans to light the piles when wind speeds, directions and smoke dispersion are favorable. Because the piles are next to Highway 7, there is a slight potential for traffic delays if smoke obscures the road. Therefore, due to the ongoing road construction from flood impacts on US Highway 36 and US Highway 34, ignitions will only occur at Lily Lake when there are no reroutes or significant delays on those highways.
Why are hazardous fuels reduction projects important? When fighting the Fern Lake Fire in 2012, firefighters were able to take advantage of previous and existing prescribed fire and hazardous fuels treatment areas that provided a buffer between the fire and Estes Park. Prior hazard fuels projects were instrumental in stopping the fire from jumping Bear Lake Road.
Pile burning operations will only begin when conditions allow. Safety factors, weather conditions, air quality 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.