SANTA FE ― Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct the previously announced Mesa Potrero pile burn on the Coyote Ranger District this week if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable.
Ignitions on the 470-acre fire, located 7 miles northwest of Coyote, could begin today, Oct. 19, and conclude Friday, Oct. 21. Crews expect to burn small blocks of 100 acres per day.
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.
Each prescribed burn is designed to meet specific objectives. The Mesa Potrero pile burn is designed to remove dead forest fuels, provide community protection and promote forest health. 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, Coyote, Youngsville, US Highway 84 between Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch, and State Highway 96.
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.