The National Park Service will soon begin conducting pile burns near the Grizzly Gulch area on the North Rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Pile burning is a type of maintenance burn whereby wildland fuels are cut through the year, piled, allowed to dry, and then burned during the winter when there is snow on the ground.
The piles are the result of fuels reduction efforts undertaken in the past few years to reduce wildfire risk and improve wildlife habitat in these sites.
As with all prescribed burns, each of the proposed pile burns has gone through an environmental analysis and has a detailed burn plan. Each burn plan contains specific criteria regarding weather conditions and air quality standards that must be met to ensure control of the burn as well as minimizing the potential smoke impacts on local communities. Smoke may be visible to park visitors and nearby residents during the burn operation.