SANTA FE – To take advantage of unseasonably favorable conditions, to include fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, fire managers on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) expect to begin ignitions on the Joaquin fuelwood unit Thursday, Jan. 11 to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire.
Weather permitting, crews are expected to treat up to 90-acres of the 115-acre area. The Joaquin fuelwood unit is at the intersection of Forest Roads (FRs) 376 and 488. The window for the 115-acre Joaquin unit, a combination of slash and piles, is Jan. 11 through the end of January. Smoke from the Joaquin prescribed burn may be visible from NM Highway 4, US Route 550, the Pueblos of Jemez and Zia, and the communities of San Ysidro and Gilman.
Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. The fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. The Joaquin prescribed burn 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 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, contact the Jemez Ranger District at 575.829.3535.