USA – The Moccasin Mesa Fire, burning near the far southeast boundary of Mesa Verde National Park, reached 185 acres on Sunday, according to a press release.
A Type 3 incident command team from Durango assumed command of the fire Sunday, said park public information officer Cristy Brown. The fire is burning on Ute Mountain Ute land.
The Moccasin Mesa Fire was reported by Park Point Lookout about noon Saturday.
Personnel working on the fire include the Ute Mountain Ute fire department, a 20-person Type 2 crew from the Navajo Nation, and National Park Service employees from Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelly National Monument and Canyonlands National Park. Equipment includes a Type 2 and a Type 3 helicopter, single-engine air tankers and engines from Fremont County and Pike National Forest.
The park is open, and services on Chapin Mesa are available; however, the Chapin Mesa Picnic Area is closed and will be used for fire operations. Areas of the Visitor and Research Center parking lot have been coned off for fire equipment, Brown said.
The park reminded visitors that fire personnel have the right of way and asked that visitors do not stop in the roadway. Drones are prohibited in the park.
On Saturday, the park announced on its Facebook page that the fire was “in the park on Moccasin Mesa” and was at 75 acres. A post stated that two canyons separated the fire from the main park road and park headquarters, the museum, Cliff Palace and Balcony House, without providing the fire’s precise location. Moccasin Mesa Road runs north-south through the park and continues north-south just east of the park’s most southern boundary.