Don’t panic and call 911 on or around January 17th (2017) if you see fire and/or smoke coming from the Lake Mead National Recreation Area because the National Park Service will be conducting an eight-acre controlled burn (also known as a prescribed or hazard reduction burn, backfire or swailing) at the St. Thomas town site.
Exotic tamarisk vegetation has aggressively invaded the area of St. Thomas and is being removed to protect the natural and cultural resources in the area. Historic foundations and tree stumps will be protected, and the burn will be monitored by a member of the resource management division to ensure no nesting threatened or endangered bird species are present.
The burn date is tentatively scheduled for January 17th (2017), but may change, depending on weather conditions. For public safety, access to St. Thomas will be closed during this time.
Visitors near the area, especially along Northshore Road, may observe smoke during the burn, but it should only last for a short period of time and the amounts are not expected to cause health or safety concerns to project personnel or the public (per the Lake Mead NRA press release).