SAND DUNES — The lightning-caused Castle Creek fire in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area of Great Sand Dunes National Preserve was determined to be out on August 8. The determination was based on an absence of discernable fire activity, consistent monsoonal rains and the lack of a detectable heat source during a recent infrared overflight by the Division of Fire Prevention and Control’s Multi-mission Aircraft.
The fire had been burning at 11,000 feet in steep and rough terrain and posed minimal impacts to visitors. Since July 12 when the fire started, fire personnel tracked its behavior and implemented management strategies considering access to the remote terrain, safety of firefighters, available resources, as well as observed and expected fire behavior.
The National Park Service wishes to thank the San Luis Valley Interagency Fire Management Unit and the Pike and San Isabel National Forests for their assistance in the management of the Castle Creek Fire.
Wildland fires at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve contribute to healthy forest ecosystems. The National Park Service uses wildland fires as a tool to restore fire’s role as a dynamic and necessary natural process in maintaining healthy and sustainable ecosystems while protecting lives, property and natural and cultural resources. To learn more about fire management in national park units, visit www.nps.gov/fire