News Release

Winter Precipitation Facilitates Pile Burns at Zion National Park

Several piles of debris are on fire in a snowy landscape with Watchman Peak in the background
Winter pile burning near park headquarters

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: January 25, 2021

Contact: Greg Bartin, 435-772-7847

SPRINGDALE, UT – Fire Management Officials at Zion National Park are planning to implement several small prescribed burns in Zion National Park beginning Monday, January 25, 2021. Prescribed fire is an important technique used to reduce excessive vegetation build up on the landscape and reduce the potential for more severe fires. If weather conditions are not favorable, these burns will be postponed until later this winter.

There are four project areas targeted for implementation over the next several weeks including piles on: the “Switchbacks” area of the Zion Mt. Carmel Highway, around the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center, along the East Mesa boundary, and in the Lava Point area. The size of these four pile burn projects totals sixty acres.

The National Park Service routinely treats fuels in this fashion. Spring, summer, and fall fuels projects have been conducted over the past several years where firefighters thinned fuels around buildings and other visitor frequented areas. The cut slash has been collected into pyramidal shaped piles and will be burned when there is sufficient precipitation that reduces the potential for fire spread beyond the piles.

The anticipated short-term impacts are smoky conditions for short periods during ignition. Piles typically burn down over the course of two to three hours and some smoke may be expected the day of and day after ignition. The pile burns will be monitored by park fire staff until they are declared out.

For information concerning this project or other prescribed burns in Zion National Park call 435-772-7847.

Last updated: January 26, 2021

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Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.

Springdale, UT 84767


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