Santa Fe National Forest Plans Prescribed Pile Burn


SANTA FE— Fire managers at Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct a prescribed pile burn in the Santa Fe Watershed on the Espanola Ranger District. The Santa Fe Watershed pile burn may be conducted from Dec. 1 through the month of February on favorable days as conditions allow. 

Approximately 100 acres of piles may be treated in the Santa Fe Watershed area, which is located approximately two miles east of Santa Fe. Small blocks of piles may be treated each day to decrease the daily smoke volume. 

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. Each prescribed burn is designed to meet specific objectives. The Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe Watershed prescribed pile burn will be monitored to ensure that New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. It will likely be visible from the communities of Santa Fe, Tesuque, El Dorado and I-25. 

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

For additional information about these prescribed burns, contact the Espanola Ranger Station at 505.753.7331.