The reduction of hazardous fuels is a significant preventative management tool for managing wildfire near structures and communities. These projects are done to protect life and property and enhance the safety of firefighters and their ability to manage fire within the park.
When fighting the East Troublesome Fire in 2020 and the Fern Lake Fire in 2012, 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 were instrumental in stopping the fire from jumping Bear Lake Road and Trail Ridge Road.
Hazardous fuels reduction projects take place in strategic locations within Rocky Mountain National Park. The most recent project will take place within the Rocky Mountain National Park boundary near Lily Lake. Work will include removing dead trees, the lower limbs of remaining trees, dead and down logs and ladder fuels which can carry a fire burning in low-growing vegetation to surrounding taller vegetation. Resulting woody materials will be piled on site and burned during winter when conditions allow.
Fuels reduction projects cannot be a stand-alone defense against wildfire. It is advisable that additional fuels reduction be completed on private property to meet Firewise mitigation and Hardening Your Home efforts. To learn more about how you can protect your home and help firefighters, please visit:
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.