SANTA FE ― Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) plan to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, wind directions, and weather forecasts to initiate a piles burn in the Santa Fe Watershed area as early as Nov.15.
Depending on conditions, ignitions could possibly not start until sometime in early 2019.
The treatment area is approximately 50 acres and is located adjacent to Forest Road (FR) 102 approximately four miles east of the City of Santa Fe and six miles southwest of Ski Santa Fe.
Smoke will likely be visible from Santa Fe, I-25, and the Highway 599 bypass.
Historically, low- to moderate-intensity wildfires burn through southwestern dry conifer forests like the SFNF every seven to 15 years on average as part of a natural cycle that removes leaf litter, eradicates disease and thins understory, which makes room for new growth. Prescribed fire is one of the most effective tools available to restore fire-adapted ecosystems like the SFNF by applying low- to moderate-intensity fire to the landscape under specific conditions within predetermined boundaries.
The Santa Fe Watershed Project totals approximately 9,700 acres in size, and is part of the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition Project area. A multijurisdictional endeavor, the Fireshed crosses many land management boundaries to focus efforts toward resilience to wildfires on a 107,000 acre landscape. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
Smoke/Air Quality: Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.