Santa Fe National Forest Plans Prescribed Burns

Fire managers are planning to conduct two prescribed burns this fall on the Coyote Ranger District in the Santa Fe National Forest. Courtesy/SFNF

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct two prescribed burns on the Coyote Ranger District this fall.

The 5,041-acre French Mesa treatment area is approximately 10 miles north of Gallina and the 470-acre Mesa Potrero pile burn located approximately seven miles northwest of the community of Coyote.

The window for hand ignitions may open as early as Aug. 1, 2016, and run through Sept. 30. 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, Highway 84 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, please contact the Coyote Ranger Station at 575.638.5526 or visit New Mexico Fire Information at www.nmfireinfo.com.

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