DENVER (CBS4) – Portions of the Denver metro area should see a column of smoke Monday as firefighters put torches to the landscape at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The crews are deliberating burning the southeastern section of the arsenal property in an operation known as a prescribed burn.

(credit: Rocky Mountain Arsenal/Twitter)

That section borders 56th Avenue at the Gateway and Montbello neighborhoods. Residents may see flames, too, but are asked to not call 911 for this reason.

(credit: Rocky Mountain Arsenal/Twitter)

The prescribed burn is necessary to expend potential wildfire fuels — grasses, brush, logs, etc. — in as controlled a manner as possible. Burning the fuels while personnel and firefighting equipment are on hand reduces the severity of an unplanned fire.

The operation will continue throughout the day.

A similar burn took place last spring in the wildlife refuge.

Logan Smith