SANTA FE ― Fire crews on the Coyote Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) may begin blacklining the perimeter of the previously announced La Presa prescribed fire on Mesa los Indios near Forest Road 473 as early as Dec. 2.
The decision to proceed will depend on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and forecasted weather.
The blacklining operation would prepare the unit for planned aerial ignitions in spring 2020. The 1,200-acre La Presa prescribed burn is designed to mimic a natural fire regime by using low-intensity fire to reduce forest fuels, recycle nutrients and increase habitat diversity. Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
The SFNF manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke from the blacklining operations may be visible from US Highway 112 and Highway 96 as well as the communities of Lindrith, Llaves, Abiquiu, Gallina, Tierra Amarilla, El Vado and Canjilon.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. 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 (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at https://nmtracking.org/fire. People with health concerns can also call NMDOH at 505.827.0006 for additional information.