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Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363
Fire managers from Rocky Mountain National Park are preparing to conduct prescribed burns in the South Lateral Moraine area. This area is located south of Eagle Cliff Mountain and adjacent to Bear Lake Road. Burning will only occur if favorable weather and fuel conditions permit. The South Lateral Moraine burn is approximately 135 acres of open ponderosa. Ignition will likely occur in five adjacent areas on five different days to limit daily smoke production. The primary goal of the project is to reduce the threat of wildland fire to adjacent communities and park infrastructure by using prescribed fire to reduce the amount of fuel available in the project area.
Prescribed burning operations are targeted to occur shortly after snow melt and prior to grasses becoming green, this may occur in April or early May depending on when weather and fuel conditions are appropriate. Ignitions will likely occur on a weekdays with smoldering and smoke emissions lasting for an additional 3-10 days. Smoke will be visible from Highways 66 and Bear Lake Road as well as other locations in the park. Every effort will be made to minimize smoke impacts to visitors and the adjacent community; however some smoke is anticipated to flow down the Mill Creek and Big Thompson River corridors and into the Town of Estes Park in the morning hours. No trail closures are anticipated but visitors hiking past actively burning areas may be escorted by fire personnel to ensure their safety.
Safety factors, weather conditions, air quality, personnel availability 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.