Jemez Ranger District to Start Fall Burning Program


Santa Fe – The Jemez Ranger District will begin implementing two prescribed burns including the Guacamalla Pile burn located near the Ponderosa Camp Ground and the Vallecitos Broadcast Burn located off N.M. 4 nearer to the Valle Caldera southwest corner.

These projects will be implemented after Sept. 17, conditions permitting. Due to the location and elevation it will be visible from all directions coming into the Jemez Mountain area.

The burns are being implemented to manage hazardous fuels, to provide community protection along with maintaining forest and wildlife health.

This program is a continuation of a fuels reduction program here on the Santa Fe National Forest. There are approximately 43 broadcast acres and 134 acres of piles to be treated.

The project will not implement unless the weather supports the burn and resources are available.

The parameters for implementing a pile burn are based upon specific assessments, agency guidelines and safety protocols. During this burn, managers continuously monitor weather conditions, including wind, temperature, and relative humidity.

Fuel conditions including fuel moisture and the quantity of fuels are also measured. Smoke will be visible and expected to have variable affects to neighboring communities including Ponderosa, La Cueva, Sierra Los Pinos off N.M. 4, Jemez Pueblo, San Ysidro, Zia Pueblo, Bernalillo, Rio Rancho and areas off Interstate 550.

Smoke from prescribed fire can be a nuisance to some people and a health concern for others, such as children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and those suffering from allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities, or other heart or lung diseases.

To reduce exposure to smoke, stay indoors as much as possible with windows, doors and vents closed. Avoid or limit physical activities outdoors.

In the evenings, smoke settles into low lying areas, including drainages and lifts by mid-morning when the sun rises. Residents living in such low-lying areas may be most affected.

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