Preparing for the Monument Fire Center Prescribed Burn in El Paso County

Jun 11, 2024 - 10:30am

This week, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Wildland Fire Unit will assist the Pike-San Isabel Forest & Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands Pikes Peak Ranger District in conducting a prescribed burn in the Monument Fire Center area, 1.5 miles west of Monument, Colorado, in northern El Paso County.

The prescribed burn will occur over an estimated three days and ignite Memorial Grove, Monument Rock, and the Mount Herman trailhead. Crews from various agencies will be on the scene, facilitating safe fire operations. This operation's footprint will reduce surface fuel loads and restore ecosystem health to approximately 1,000 acres.

Historically, low-elevation Ponderosa Pine ecosystems, such as those in the prescribed burn area, are estimated to have burned every decade. This prescribed burn is necessary to mimic the natural fire regime and reduce the risk of future catastrophic wildfires.

Smoke will likely be visible to the surrounding and distant communities, including but not limited to El Paso County, Teller County, Pueblo County, Fremont County, Park County, and Douglas County.

Community members and visitors to the Pikes Peak region should be aware of the prescribed burn area and avoid calling 911. Additional calls to our emergency 911 center may cause unnecessary wait times and delay the ability to respond to life-threatening emergencies.  

Sheriff Joe Roybal, Fire Warden for El Paso County, issued the following statement:

“I am grateful for the hard work invested in the planning and executing the Monument Fire Center prescribed burn in Northern El Paso County. Ultimately, this operation allows for a break in wildfire fuel and significantly enhances the ability of wildland fire crews to protect communities across the Front Range.

“Thank you to the U.S. Forest Service, dozens of firefighting specialists, and community partners who organized this important operation and to our local media partners who help my Office communicate with citizens across the Pikes Peak region, spreading awareness.”

While assisting the United States Forest Service during the prescribed burn, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office will assist with incident management and keeping the community apprised of any additional safety messaging.

Prescribed fire smoke can cause various health issues for humans and animals (livestock or household pets). For more information, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment webpage by clicking here.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast or have travel plans in the burn areas, expect significant travel delays and/ or road closures due to the high activity level near Mount Herman Road from Nursery Road (west) into the Pikes National Forest. In addition, numerous hiking trails will be inaccessible to the public during this operation. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office requests members of the public limit travel in those areas. If travel in those areas is necessary, please use extraordinary caution due to the number of wildland fire personnel in vehicles and on foot.

For more information regarding the Monument Fire Center operation, click here.

MR 24-036

Office of the Sheriff

27 East Vermijo Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States

719-520-7100 / 719-390-5555 (after hours)

El Paso County Jail

2739 East Las Vegas Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
United States