BRYCE – Officials at Bryce Canyon National Park have announced that burning of debris piles created from recent fuel reduction treatment projects at Rainbow Point, in park employee housing areas, and in the park maintenance area are expected to begin January 8, 2018. Burning of the approximately 250 debris piles, which began last year, will resume only when specific weather conditions allow for acceptable smoke dispersal and little chance of fire spread. All burning activity will be done in such a way as to minimize impacts to the park’s resources, visitors and the surrounding communities. Rainbow Point is located at the south end of the Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive, 17 miles from the park visitor center.
The goal of the 50-acre Rainbow Point fuel reduction project and the less than one acre park housing and maintenance area projects is to reduce the amount of hazardous fuels, both live and dead, that have accumulated due to forest overcrowding, blight, and lack of fire. This resource management practice greatly minimizes the risks from potential wildfire to structures and visitor facilities. The fuel reduction project was accomplished using mechanical methods such as chainsaws and other hand tools. Once collected, debris was then placed into piles away from structures and trees to be burned by park personnel when weather conditions permit.
Smoke from the fuel reduction burns may be visible to park visitors and local residents, but should produce only minor, localized impacts. The piles may smolder for a few days after ignition, but fire staff will closely monitor them until declared out.
Additional information can be obtained by calling the park’s information line at (435) 834-5322.
—US Forest Service