Prescribed burn. Courtesy/NPS
SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest announced Friday plans to conduct prescribed burns in several locations on the Coyote Ranger District, including the Gallina wildland-urban interface (WUI), throughout the fall.
Ignitions on several pile burns and the Gallina WUI could begin as early as Monday, Oct. 24, if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable.
Fire managers hope to treat 500 acres around the community of Gallina and up to another 500 acres of pile burns scattered across the district before the end of the year. Crews expect to burn small blocks of 50 acres per day to reduce smoke impacts on nearby communities.
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 Coyote pile burns are designed to remove dead forest fuels, provide community protection and promote forest health. The Gallina WUI prescribed burn is designed to reduce the risk of wildfire and protect lives and property in the developed areas near unoccupied forest lands. 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 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, contact the Coyote Ranger District at 575.638.5526.