Oct 08, 2019 2:22 PM

Prescribed fire planned for Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

Posted Oct 08, 2019 2:22 PM

The National Park Service will conduct a prescribed fire this fall at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.

The planned treatment area is Carnegie and North Carnegie North units. The proposed date of the burn will be between October 14 and s November 15. The actual date and decision to burn will be determined by available staffing and weather and fuel conditions.

This burn, known as the North Carnegie Unit, will be located on the east end of the monument. The burn unit consists of approximately 334 acres on the north side of the Niobrara River, surrounding the monument’s housing area and visitor center, and continuing to the north and east boundaries. The burn may last two days. Weather conditions will meet the criteria stipulated in the monument’s prescribed fire plan (available in the superintendent’s office) before the burn will be ignited. Additional public announcement will be made by 10 A.M. the morning of the actual burn.

Goals of the prescribed burn are to give ecological benefit, reduce old dry vegetation and non-native plants and to encourage the growth of the native prairie plants.  

Crews from the Northern Great Plains Fire Management Area will work this prescribed burn. Motorized engines and hand crews will be involved, creating as little disturbance as possible to the monument’s natural and cultural resources. Visitors and neighboring ranches can expect to see smoke and increased traffic along Highway 29 and River Road from fire vehicles during the prescribed burn. Those anticipating travel through the area during this time period should contact the Agate Fossil Beds visitor center (308-668-2211) for actual burn dates, smoke conditions, and potential road closures.

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