The Dave’s Hollow prescribed fire will begin early next week and cover 220-acres along the west side of the park’s entrance road from the entrance station to the northern park boundary. Scheduled burning around Sunset Campground is planned for 1,100-acres along the campground’s perimeter extending onto the Dixie National Forest on Monday, September 27th. Sunset Campground will be closed for the season beginning September 27th.
An open house meeting will be held on Monday, September 13, 2010 at Ruby’s Inn (near the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park) from 4:30 – 6:30PM. Park and forest officials will be on hand to discuss their respective prescribed fire programs and specific details of both the Dave’s Hollow and Sunset prescribed burn.
Visitors to the park and forest, and area residents will see or smell smoke from the fires at times, Ng said. Smoke on park and forest roadways may be a hazard and scenic visibility may be reduced in certain areas. At night residents in the Bryce Valley region may experience some smoke because of atmospheric inversions.
The lack of fires on much of our public lands, mainly due to past suppression efforts, have contributed to high fuel accumulations and a change in forest structure. Prescribed fire is a way to reverse these changes brought on by fire exclusion. The policy of using fire as a tool will help decrease risks to life, property, and resources. These burns will be conducted safely with the health of area residents, visitors, and wildland fire fighters of primary concern in the burn operations. Burning will only be allowed under certain weather and fuel moisture conditions.
The future benefits of restoring the health of the ecosystem and reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires and threats to developed areas is vital to maintaining the integrity of the resources in the park and forest. By improving wildlife habitat and forest health these burns will sustain long-term appeal to the national and international visiting public and the economic benefits they bring to the tourism industry in the area.