Flames rise controlled fire burn Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Colorado

As flames and heat waves rise on the plains of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, fire crews closely watch the prairie in Commerce City, Colorado during a controlled burn.

A prescribed fire is planned at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City on Monday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it plans to burn up to 875 acres over the next two weeks. The burns will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Officials said smoke will be visible for several miles from the perimeter of the refuge. It’s likely people in the area could smell smoke.

If smoke is seen, do not report it, officials said.

The burns are done in an effort to reinvigorate the growth of native prairie vegetation, reduce accumulated litter, manage efforts for weed control and improve habitat to sustain wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Interagency crews from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, other federal agencies and fire departments will participate in the prescribed burns.

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