Rocky Mountain National Park Announces Winter Pile Burn Operations
Fire managers from Rocky Mountain National Park plan to take advantage of any upcoming winter weather conditions to burn piles of slash from several forest thinning and hazard tree mitigation projects. Exclusion of fire for the past century has resulted in unnatural forest conditions in some areas, with significant accumulation of forest fuels and an increased risk of a wildfire. In addition, park crews have been cutting hazard trees caused by beetle killed trees. There is an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 piles park wide. If these are all burned, it will be roughly three times the amount of piles that are normally burned in a year.
Slash from these projects has been cut and piled by park fire crews and contractors during the last two years. Pile burning operations may begin as early as October 24, and continue through March as weather permits. The piles, which are now dry enough to burn, are located in a variety of locations on both the east and west sides of the park. Locations include but are not limited to: Bear Lake Road Corridor, Glacier Basin Campground, Sprague Lake, Moraine Park Campground, Deer Mountain, Highway 34 near Deer Ridge Junction, some areas along Trail Ridge Road, Lily Lake area, Wild Basin Road, along US Highway 34 from the park boundary to the Colorado River Trailhead, on the southern boundary of the park (north of the town of Grand Lake), Shadow Mountain, and other areas along Trail Ridge Road on the west side.
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. -NPS-