Rocky Mountain National Park deters future wildfires with pile burn operations

Local News

Courtesy of Rocky Mountain National Park

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — As winter arrives in Rocky Mountain National Park, fire managers are taking advantage of the wet winter weather conditions to burn piles of slash.

The downed vegetation, known as slash, has been generated from fuel reduction projects and hazardous tree removal. After two years of being cut and piled, the slash is now dry enough to burn.

Pile burning operations from fire managers at RMNP made a significant impact in fighting the East Troublesome Fire in 2020.

“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,” said RMNP Public Affairs Officer Kyle Patterson in a press release.

The 2021 Colorado wildfire season remained relatively quiet, and these burning operations are designed to reduce forest fuels that can generate problematic fire behavior in the future.

Locations of Rocky Mountain National Park pile burning operations

When conditions allow, pile burning operations will occur at:

  • Boundary of RMNP and Allenspark
  • Near Lily Lake
  • West of Deer Mountain
  • Moraine Park Campground
  • Willow Park area off Old Fall River Road
  • West side of RMNP

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