RMNP Announces Winter Pile Burning Operations on Both Sides of Park

November 2, 2023  |  Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Fire managers from Rocky Mountain National Park plan to take advantage of any upcoming wet or winter weather conditions to burn piles of slash generated from several fuels reduction projects and hazard tree removals. Slash from these projects has been cut and piled by park fire crews and contractors over the last two years and are now dry enough to burn. Burning could start in early November and continue through April as weather permits.

Pile burning operations will only begin when conditions allow. The piles are in a variety of locations including areas near the boundary of the park with Allenspark, near Lily Lake, west of Deer Mountain, near Moraine Park Campground, in the Willow Park area off Old Fall River Road and on the west side of the park along US Highway 34/Trail Ridge Road near the Green Mountain and Coyote Valley Trailheads.

When fighting the East Troublesome Fire in 2020, 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 the town of Estes Park. Prior hazard fuels projects aided considerably in stopping the fire from jumping Bear Lake Road and Trail Ridge Road. Years of hazardous fuels reduction projects and bark beetle tree removal on the west side were instrumental in the successful burnout operations around the town of Grand Lake and helped minimize structure loss in the main park housing area.

Pile Burning Operations. Image courtesy NPS

The fuels reduction projects are designed to reduce significant accumulations of forest fuels that can generate extreme or problematic fire behavior adjacent to wildland urban interface. By reducing the potential fire behavior, the wildland fire risk to firefighters and the public is significantly reduced. However, these projects are not designed as a stand-alone defense against wildfires, nor are they guaranteed to hold a wildfire in the worst of conditions. Please do your part and complete wildfire mitigation on your property. To learn more about wildfire mitigation around your home visit www.firewise.org

Safety factors, weather conditions, air quality and other environmental regulations are continually monitored as a part of any fire management operation. Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see https://www.colorado.gov/pacif....

For questions about this project or information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206 or visit www.nps.gov/romo