SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest plan to continue the Gallinas Watershed prescribed burns on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District this week.
The burns are planned through March 31, if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable.
The Gallinas Watershed prescribed burn is 1,000 acres, 20 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-dependent ecosystems. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. The Gallinas Watershed 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 the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. Smoke may be visible from Las Vegas and along Interstate 25 as well as the communities of Gallinas, El Porvenir, San Pablo, Mineral Hill, San Geronimo, and Gascon. Smoke may also impact Hwy. 65, the main access to the Gallinas corridor, and visibility around Hermit’s Peak.
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 Environment Department’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.
For additional information about these prescribed burns, please contact the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District at 505.425.3534.