Prescribed burn planned at Montezuma Well

RIMROCK - The National Park Service plans to burn several piles of woody debris and Russian thistle at Montezuma Well National Monument in late-February or early March.

The piles will be burned only if environmental conditions are favorable and an adequate number of firefighters are available.

The piles consist of dead cottonwood and Russian thistle. This hazard fuels reduction project will reduce fuels that could feed a wildfire along the monument's boundary. Doing this will also reduce the threat of fire to private homes and help protect the plants, wildlife, and important cultural resources in the monument. The project is a joint operation between the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

Firefighters will ignite and monitor the piles until they are completely out. Park visitors and nearby residents may see smoke and open flames or smell smoke in the vicinity of Montezuma Well during the burn. The project should be completed in one day.

For information about the Montezuma Well National Monument, visit www.nps.gov/moca/index.htm or www.facebook.com/MontezumaNPS. For more information on the National Park Service Wildland Fire Management Program, visit www.nps.gov/fire.

To learn how you can reduce wildfire risk on your own property, visit www.firewise.org.

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