National Park Service Manages Fire at El Malpais National Monument

National Park Service Manages Fire at El Malpais National Monument

Grants, NM – The National Park Service (NPS) at El Malpais National Monument is managing a fire that was caused by a lightning strike on August 22. As of Friday afternoon (Aug. 30) the slow moving fire had covered about 10 acres. The fire known as the Lava 18 Fire is located south of El Calderon. El Calderon is located off Hwy. 53, 28 miles southwest of Grants, NM.

The Lava 18 Fire is currently a low intensity fire and being managed by fire crews on site. Fire managers note that this is an opportunity to reduce the natural fuels in an area that has not burned since the monument was designated in 1987. The primary objective of managing this fire is to improve forest health by reducing the build-up of vegetation that can fuel a wildfire. Fire plays a natural role at El Malpais National Monument and helps ensure the resiliency of this fire dependent ecosystem.

Over 100 years of fire suppression has occurred on most public lands throughout the western United States, which has greatly affected forest health and wildlife. Without the natural process of fire, southwestern forests and woodlands have become overgrown and vulnerable to drought, insects, and threats of catastrophic wildfire. Restoration of forest and woodland ecosystems using appropriate management actions helps to re-establish the natural fire regime and benefits native plant and animal communities while at the same time protecting visitors, facilities, and resources within and adjacent to the park from unwanted fire effects from wildfires.

For questions about the fire call the Fire Management Officer Kevin Parrish at 505-285-4641 ext. 35.

A related video update from 8/29/19 is available on the El Malpais National Monument Facebook page.

Additional information is available on



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