SANTA FE ―Fire managers are postponing the completion of the prescribed burn in the Gallinas Watershed until Oct. 24 or later, based on windy conditions predicted for this week.
At the end of operations last week, fire crews had completed an estimated 200 acres in the Gallinas wildland-urban interface (WUI) project area. The 1,300-acre Gallinas Watershed treatment area is located approximately 20 miles northwest of Las Vegas, N.M.
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 Gallinas Watershed prescribed burn is designed to improve and protect the Gallinas Watershed, the primary water source for the City of Las Vegas, by reducing the risk for high-intensity wildfire. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
Smoke from the Gallinas Canyon prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. Lingering smoke may be present for up to one week after ignitions are complete. Smoke may be visible from Gallinas, El Porvenir, Panderies, Rociada, San Pablo, Mineral Hill, San Geronimo, Gascon, I-25 and Las Vegas.
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 Environment Department’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.
For additional information about these prescribed burns, please contact the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger Station at 505.425.3534.