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Rocky Mountain National Park Announces Plans For Prescribed Burning

This summer, if conditions allow, fire managers from Rocky Mountain National Park are preparing to conduct prescribed burns in the South Lateral Moraine, North Lateral Moraine, and Deer Ridge Junction areas. The South Lateral Moraine burn area is 115 acres of open ponderosa located south of Eagle Cliff Mountain and adjacent to Bear Lake Road. The North Lateral Moraine burn area is 140 acres north of the Moraine Park Visitor Center and south of the junction of Trail Ridge Road and Bear Lake Road.

The Deer Ridge Junction burn area is 70 acres northeast of the junction of Trail Ridge Road and Fall River Road. One burn in the South Lateral Moraine area was successfully completed this spring and burning will likely resume within the three adjacent units before moving on to the other areas.

Burning will only occur if weather and fuel conditions are favorable. Multiple days of ignition will likely occur in each area 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 for wildfires in the project areas.

Favorable conditions for burning are anticipated to occur periodically July 26 through August 31. Ignitions will only occur on weekdays with smoldering and smoke emissions lasting for an additional 3-10 days. Smoke may be visible from Highways 66, Bear Lake Road, Trail Ridge Road, and Fall River 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 Fall River and Big Thompson River corridors and into the Town of Estes Park during the early morning hours. No trail closures are anticipated but visitors hiking past active burn areas may be escorted by fire personnel through the area.

Safety factors, weather conditions, air quality, available personnel, fire danger, ongoing wildfires, and environmental regulations are continually monitored as a part of any prescribed fire management operation. For more information please contact the park’s information office at (970) 586-1206.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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