Ignitions underway Thursday in Santa Fe Watershed. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
Picture-perfect outcome of prescribed burn in Santa Fe Watershed. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
Needle cast and duff adjacent to the prescribed burn unit. This is the type of fuel the prescribed burn is designed to eliminate. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
SANTA FE – Fire crews conducted both aerial and on-the-ground surveys Friday of the 248-acre unit within the Santa Fe Municipal Watershed that was treated with prescribed fire yesterday. By Friday afternoon, more than 75 percent of the unit was cold with a few spots still smoldering within the unit’s interior.
Air quality monitors on Upper Canyon Road and downtown confirm very little to no smoke impact in and around Santa Fe from yesterday’s burn. Residents of Las Vegas, NM, saw smoke in the afternoon but westerly winds carried it to the east by late afternoon.
Crews monitored the treatment area, located approximately 4 miles east of the City of Santa Fe on the east end of the McClure Reservoir and adjacent to the western boundary of the Pecos Wilderness, in a light rain today and will continue to keep an eye on the unit over the weekend. Fire managers report that control lines are holding well.
Watershed restoration and conservation is a national management objective for the Forest Service. The SFNF is part of a collaborative that includes state and local governments and non-governmental organizations focused on the long-term management of the Santa Fe Municipal Watershed to provide a reliable supply of water to city residents by maintaining the health of the forest and proactively addressing fire hazards.
Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems by applying low- to moderate-intensity fire to the landscape under specific conditions within predetermined boundaries. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
For additional information about this prescribed burn, please contact the Española Ranger Station at 505.753.7331.