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Local Staff Ride Archive

Staff Ride to the Cerro Grande Fire

Facilitator Support Maps Information Sources Stand Descriptions
Stand 4 - The Slop Over Stand 3 - East Ridge of Cerro Grande Peak Stand 2 - Baca Ranch Boundary Stand 1 - Frijoles Canyon Overlook Stand 5 - The Meadow

From February to April of 2000, the staff at the Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico prepared and approved a plan for the Upper Frijoles Prescribed Burn project. This plan covered a project area of approximately 1000 acres located in the northwest portion of Bandelier National Monument and adjacent to the Santa Fe National Forest.

The primary purpose of this prescribed fire was to reduce hazard fuels in the burn unit. The burn plan defined implementation of the full project to be completed in three sequential phases.

On May 4, 2000, Bandelier National Monument employees began Phase 1 of the Upper Frijoles Prescribed Burn. Phase 1 of the prescribed fire eventually escaped the planning boundaries. It ultimately spread into the town of Los Alamos, destroying 235 structures and also spread onto lands administered or owned by the Santa Fe National Forest, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the San Idelfonso and Santa Clara Pueblos.

Lessons learned from the Upper Frijoles Prescribed Burn and the subsequent Cerro Grande Fire resulted in revision of the Federal Wildland Fire Policy.

The Cerro Grande Fire Staff Ride resource is a product of the NWCG Leadership Committee. Project team members were:

Julian Affuso - U.S. Forest Service, Lincoln National Forest
Jim Cook - U.S. Forest Service, NIFC
Sue Curd - Bureau of Land Management, NIFC
Chad Fisher - National Park Service, NIFC
Emily Irwin - U.S. Forest Service, Fire Use Training Academy
Aaron Jones - U.S. Forest Service, Gila National Forest
Bob Kambitsch - Bureau of Land Management, NIFC
Bequi Livingston - U.S. Forest Service, Region 3
J.W. McCoy - U.S. Forest Service, Carson National Forest
Marla Rodgers - National Park Service, Bandelier National Monument
Ryan Swartz - Bureau of Land Management, Boise Smokejumper Base
Jim Whittington - National Park Service, Bandelier National Monument
Nina Walker - Bureau of Land Management, NIFC
Mary Zabinski - U.S. Forest Service, Region 3

Special thanks to the following individuals for the interagency support of this effort.

Dave Bott - Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Office
Ken Castro - National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Region
L. Dean Clark - National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Region
Gary Kemp - National Park Service, Bandelier National Monument
Al King - National Park Service, NIFC
Tom Zimmerman Ph.D. - U.S. Forest Service, Region 3