Mesa Verde plans prescribed burn

Mesa Verde National Park is planning to implement a prescribed fire this week, as weather allows. This controlled burn is being conducted to reduce the wildland fire hazard and promote regeneration within a stand of ponderosa pine at the south end of Wetherill Mesa.

The Bobcat Canyon Restoration Prescribed Fire is 10 acres in size and is primarily comprised of ponderosa pine, gambel oak, piņon and juniper. This fire is part of an effort to protect one of the last remaining stands of ponderosa pine within the park. Most other stands of ponderosa have experienced high mortality rates due to the recent drought in combination with the large, intense fires over the past 15 years.

Burning at this time of year should produce low intensity fire behavior while still achieving desired fuel reduction goals.

Ignition operations should take one to two days, but the unit may produce smoke for several days afterward. Visitors to Mesa Verde may see smoke in the southwestern part of the park during these activities.

For more information, contact Steve Underwood, Mesa Verde fire management officer, at (970) 529-5049.

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