SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest hope to take advantage of conditions next week to conduct a prescribed burn on the Coyote Ranger District. The 5,041-acre French Mesa treatment area is located approximately 10 miles north of Gallina.
Hand ignitions may begin as early as Monday, May 23, but that window is dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts. Once ignitions have started, crews hope to treat up to 150 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. Prescribed burns are 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, and information will be available to provide health advisories as necessary. Lingering smoke may be present for up to one week after ignitions are complete. Smoke may be visible from Coyote, Gallina, Youngsville, Regina, Llaves, Lindrith, Ghost Ranch, the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu and Canjilon.
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 these prescribed burns, contact the Coyote Ranger Station at 575.638.5526 or visit New Mexico Fire Information at www.nmfireinfo.com.