Jewel Cave Planning Prescribed Burn

     Jewel Cave National Monument plans to conduct a 309-acre prescribed burn today, but it will happen only if the weather falls within a relatively narrow range of conditions for such things as humidity, wind, and temperature.

      Prescribed burns are used to simulate historical fire patterns to reduce fuels that could lead to large wildfires, hold invasive species in check, and improve wildlife habitat. 

      The National Park Service is teaming up with the Northern Great Plains Fire Management program for the Hilltop RX Unit near Hwy 16. If the burn is conducted today, mop-up operations will follow tomorrow.

      The fire should have little impact on Jewel Cave because no cave tours are being offered this winter while repairs and upgrades are underway on the elevators leading down to the cave.

      The visitor center will remain open regular hours from 8:30 to 4:30, but there may be periodic heavy smoke as well as fire vehicle traffic.