SANTA FE ― To take advantage of favorable conditions, to include fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, fire managers on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) expect to begin a broadcast prescribed burn in March in the Cebollita area to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire.
As weather conditions permit, the Cebollita prescribed burn could take place anytime between March 1 and March 17.
Up to 1,900 acres of hazardous fuels could be treated in the Cebollita area by hand and aerial ignitions. The broadcast burn area is located approximately one mile southwest of La Cueva. Smoke may be visible from I-25, Highway 550, San Ysidro, Zia Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo, Ponderosa, Canon, Gilman, Jemez Springs, and Sierra Los Pinos. Smoke is expected to settle into lower elevations and in drainage areas during the evenings, but should lift by mid-morning.
Prescribed burns are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. The burns mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. The Cebollita prescribed burn will specifically remove dead forest fuels, provide community protection and promote forest health. Prescribed burns are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
Smoke from the prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are met.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.
For additional information about this prescribed burn, please contact the Jemez Ranger District at 575.829.3535.