SANTA FE ― Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest expect to begin the previously announced Gallina wildland-urban interface (WUI) prescribed burn on the Coyote Ranger District today if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts are favorable.
WUI refers to the transition zone between natural areas and human development. As more homes are built in the WUI adjacent to public lands that are naturally prone to wildfire, the risk to property increases. The 500-acre Gallina WUI project area is one mile south of the village of Gallina off Highway 96. Fire crews will treat small blocks of 50 acres per day to reduce smoke impacts on nearby communities.
Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. The Gallina WUI prescribed burn is designed to reduce the risk of wildfire and protect lives and property in the developed areas near unoccupied forest lands. Prescribed fires 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 being met. Smoke will likely be visible from Gallina, Lindrith, Regina, Llaves, La Jara, Ghost Ranch, Cañones, Rio Chama, Christ in the Desert Monastery, Abiquiu and Canjilon.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems 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 Coyote Ranger District at 575.638.5526.