Santa Fe National Forest Prescribed Burns Next Week

SFNF News:

SANTA FE—Starting Monday, Oct. 28, fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest plan to conduct several prescribed fires across the forest to reduce hazardous fuels, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce overcrowding of vegetation. 

Through hand ignition firefighters will burn slash piles and conduct broadcast burns (burning surface fuels in a mosaic pattern). The start dates and duration of the burns are subject to change depending on favorable burning conditions. Smoke could possibly settle into drainages and valley bottoms at night but should lift by mid-morning. 

Paliza Pile Burn

  • Start date: Oct. 28
  • Location: Jemez Ranger District, approximately 5 miles NE of the community of Ponderosa
  • Total acreage: The goal is to incrementally treat 500 acres of slash piles through hand ignition over the fall/winter as conditions allow.
  • Possible smoke impacts: Smoke may be visible from the Jemez corridor, Ponderosa, Jemez Springs, La Cueva, along N.M. 550 between Zia Pueblo and San Ysidro, and from I-25 between Bernalillo and Santa Fe.

Cerro Pelado Prescribed Burn

  • Start date: Oct. 28
  • Location: Jemez Ranger District, 2-3 miles SE of Vallecitos de los Indios, 2 miles S of Highway 4, 7 miles E of Jemez Springs 
  • Total acreage: 25 acres
  • Possible smoke impacts: Smoke may be visible from La Cueva, Sierra Los Pinos, N.M. 4 between La Cueva and the Valle Grande, Jemez Pueblo, San Ysidro, Zia Pueblo, Bernalillo, Rio Rancho and areas off of State Highway 550.     

Chaparral Wildland Urban Interface Prescribed Burn

  • Start date: Oct. 29 through November as weather permits
  • Location: Cuba Ranger District, south of Rancho del Chaparral Girl Scout Camp
  • Total acreage: 190 acres
  • Possible smoke impacts: Smoke may impact Jemez, Gilman, San Ysidro, and might be visible from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Cuba.

La Cueva Prescribed Burn

  • Start date: Oct. 29
  • Location: Pecos Ranger District, 4 miles west of Pecos
  • Total acreage: 136 acres
  • Possible smoke impacts: La Cueva, Glorieta, Canada De Los Alamos, La Joya, Apache Canyon, Pecos/Upper Pecos Canyon, Rowe, Santa Fe and Santa Fe watershed

Santa Fe Watershed Prescribed Burn

  • Start date: Oct. 29
  • Location: Espanola Ranger District, 2-6 miles east/northeast of Santa Fe, NM
  • Total acreage:  120 acres
  • Possible smoke impacts: Santa Fe, east of Santa Fe, Tesuque, and I-25; and to the East from Glorieta to the Pecos Canyon area.

Prior to actual ignition, fire managers will be considering many factors including: fuel moisture levels, current and projected weather forecasts, fire personnel resources available, and air quality. All these factors need to be in alignment in order to carry out a successful prescribed burn treatment.

The Santa Fe National Forest is committed to protecting sensitive areas from smoke to the greatest extent possible. All prescribed burning is coordinated with NM Air Quality Bureau. Smoke from prescribed fires is considerably less and of a shorter duration than smoke of wildfires that can burn for weeks and even months at a time. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are urged to stay indoors with windows and doors closed when possible.

For more information about these prescribed fires, please call the Santa Fe National Forest at 505-438-5320 or visit

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