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Only You Can Prevent RMNP Fires

This year Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding areas have enjoyed a relatively quiet wildfire season, however, the extra grasses and thick vegetation from the abundant spring and summer rains are drying out and autumn fire danger is rising.  Combined with the seasonal increase in mountain wind, we  have the potential for fast moving, large fire events.

 

The Park has always maintained and enforced precise fire restrictions. Campfires are only allowed within designated campfire rings at select locations in the park, including picnic areas and campgrounds with good reason.   In the fall of 2012, an illegal campfire caused the Fern Lake Fire which burned over 3,000 acres, caused an evacuation of a portion of Estes Park and cost more than 6 million dollars to suppress.

 

During the last two weeks of August, Fire Managers and Park Rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park responded to four illegal, escaped campfires.  While all four were suppressed at less than 1/4 acre, each one had the potential to spread and threaten lives and property.

 

The National Park Service, Park Rangers and Fire Managers remind us to be aware of our behaviors and our surroundings: NEVER, EVER start illegal fires in the park! Use only designated campfire rings in designated areas and be diligent about both campfire management (Keep it  small and contained in designated areas only!) and campfire dousing – Drown the fire, the embers, the ash and the ring before you step away or leave the area and then, just to be sure, drown it again.

 

One can never be too safe or too careful about any open fire in the park.  Be diligent. Be safe. Help preserve and protect our National Treasure.  Remember, only you can prevent forest fires.