SANTA FE ― To take advantage of unseasonably favorable conditions, to include fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, fire managers on the Cuba Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) expect to begin ignitions on the La Jara piles and Chaparral piles sometime between Jan. 22 and March 30 to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire.
Weather permitting, crews are expected to treat up to 79 acres of the La Jara piles and up to 49 acres of the Chaparral piles.
The La Jara piles area is located east of the community of La Jara. Smoke from the La Jara piles prescribed burn may be visible from Cuba, La Jara, Regina, Highway 96, and Highway 550.
The Chaparral piles area is located along Forest Service Road 539, two miles south of the Rancho del Chaparral Girl Scout Camp. Smoke may be visible from Cuba, Jemez Springs, San Ysidro, and Highway 550.
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 La Jara and Chaparral piles prescribed burns 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 athttps://nmtracking.org/fire.
For additional information about this prescribed burn, please contact the Cuba Ranger District at 575.289.3264.