Prescribed pile burn planned as early as Wednesday on the SFNF’s Cuba Ranger District. Courtesy/NPS
SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning a prescribed pile burn on the Cuba Ranger District.
The 20-acre Ojitos prescribed pile burn, located just northeast of Rancho Del Chaparral Girl Scout Camp, may begin as early as Wednesday, Dec. 14, only if conditions, including air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable. Fire managers expect to complete ignitions in one 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. The Ojitos prescribed 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 burns will be monitored to ensure that New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met, and the information will be available to provide health advisories as necessary. Lingering smoke may be present for a few days after ignitions are complete. Smoke will likely be visible from the communities of Seven Springs, Gillman and Jemez Springs.
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 website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.
For additional information about the Ojitos pile burn, contact the Cuba Ranger District at 575.289.3264.