Prescribed burn. Courtesy/nmfireinfo.com
ESPAÑOLA—April 22-25, fire managers on the Española Ranger District will be conducting a prescribed burn to 1,760 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest, approximately 10 miles northwest of Española and 8 miles south of Abiquiu.
Smoke from the burn will be visible from Española, Abiquiu, Canones, Medanales, Chama Highway (84/285), and Highway 96. It is expected to settle into lower elevations and in drainage areas during the evenings, but should lift by mid-morning. After ignitions are complete, smoke will still be visible for a few days.
Prescribed burning is the managed application of fire to wildland fuels (woody material), under specified conditions and within predetermined boundaries, in an effort to meet wildlife objectives and restore forest health. Spring provides good prescribed burning conditions—warm days, cool nights, and good ventilation for smoke.
Prior to the burn, fire managers will consider many factors, includingfuel moisture levels, weather forecasts, resource availability, and air quality, in determining whether or not to ignite.
The main purpose of the prescribed burn is to help create winter forage for elk and deer. It will have the additional benefits of reducing the build-up of fuels, breaking up continuous fuels, helping certain shrubs and grasses to germinate, and creating diversity needed by wildlife.
The Santa Fe National Forest is committed to protecting sensitive areas from smoke to the greatest possible extent. However, our highest priority is public well-being and safety.
Smoke will be monitored and the Forest Service will comply with NM air quality regulations, but smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are urged to stay indoors when possible with windows and doors closed and to avoid using wood or gas stoves and candles.
For more information, please call the Espanola Ranger District at 505.753.7331 or visit www.nmfireinfo.com.