SANTA FE—Fall provides good prescribed burning conditions—warm days, cool nights and good ventilation for smoke. Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest plan to use this time to conduct several prescribed fires across the forest over the next few weeks to reduce hazardous fuels, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce overcrowding of vegetation.
The start dates and duration of the burns are subject to change depending on favorable conditions. Through hand ignition firefighters will burn slash piles and conduct broadcast burns (burning surface fuels in a mosaic pattern). Smoke may be visible intermittently through the coming weeks.
Name of the prescribed burn: Borrego Mesa
Start date: Oct. 23 through Nov. 15.
Location: Espanola Ranger District ,Borrego Mesa area, approximately two miles east of Cordova, NM, and three miles south of Truchas, NM.
Total acreage: The goal is to incrementally treat 110 acres
Possible smoke impacts: Smoke may be visible from Santa Fe, Tesuque, Truchas, Cordova, Penasco and El Rito.
Name of the prescribed burn: Mesa Camino
Start date: Oct. 23
Location: 15 miles NE of Gallina, N.M., eight miles north of the Coyote Ranger Station.
Total acreage: Approximately 200 acres (100 acres per day)
Possible smoke impacts: Smoke from the burn will be visible from Gallina, Coyote, Youngsville, Regina, Llaves, Canones, Ghost Ranch, Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu and possibly Canjilon. Smoke is expected to settle into lower elevations and in drainages during the evenings, but it should lift by mid-morning.
Name of the prescribed burn: Gallina Wildland Urban Interface
Start date: The week of Oct. 21 or 28
Location: Eight miles northwest of the community of Coyote and one mile south of the community of Gallina, N.M.
Total acreage: 200 acres; 50-100 acres are planned for each day as conditions allow.
Possible smoke impacts: Avoid using Forest Road 76 due to potential smoke impacts. Smoke may also be visible from Gallina, Coyote, Youngsville, Lindrith, Regina, Llaves, Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, and possibly Canjilon.
Name of the prescribed burn: Chaparral Wildland Urban Interface
Start date: Oct. 29 through November as weather permits
Location: Cuba Ranger District, south of Rancho del Chaparral Girl Scout Camp
Total acreage: 190 acres
Possible smoke impacts: Smoke may impact Jemez, Gilman, San Ysidro, and might be visible from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Cuba.
Name of the prescribed burn: La Cueva
Start date: Oct. 29
Location: Pecos Ranger District, four miles west of Pecos, N.M.
Total acreage: 136 acres
Possible smoke impacts: La Cueva, Glorieta, Canada De Los Alamos, La Joya, Apache Canyon, Pecos/Upper Pecos Canyon, Rowe, Santa Fe and Santa Fe watershed
Name of the prescribed burn: Santa Fe Watershed
Start date: Oct. 29
Location: Espanola Ranger District, two-six miles east/northeast of Santa Fe, N.M.
Total acreage: 120 acres
Possible smoke impacts: Santa Fe, east of Santa Fe, Tesuque, and I-25; and to the East from Glorieta to the Pecos Canyon area.
Prior to actual ignition, fire managers will be considering many factors including: fuel moisture levels, current and projected weather forecasts, fire personnel resources available, and air quality. All these factors need to be in alignment in order to carry out a successful prescribed burn treatment.
The Santa Fe National Forest is committed to protecting sensitive areas from smoke to the greatest extent possible. All prescribed burning is coordinated with NM Air Quality Bureau. Smoke from prescribed fires is considerably less and of a shorter duration than smoke of wildfires that can burn for weeks and even months at a time. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are urged to stay indoors with windows and doors closed when possible.
For more information about these prescribed fires, call the Santa Fe National Forest at 505-438-5320.