Prescribed burn underway today in Pacheco Canyon. File photo
SANTA FE – Favorable conditions today allowed fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest to proceed with the previously announced Pacheco Canyon prescribed pile burn on the Española Ranger District.
The 106-acre pile burn is part of the larger Pacheco Canyon Forest Resiliency Project, a 2,042-acre forest restoration project that was instrumental in keeping the lightning-caused Medio Fire from crossing Forest Road (FR) 102 and threatening significant values at risk, including the Santa Fe ski basin and municipal watershed.
Winter is an optimal time to burn slash piles because snow on the ground keeps the fire from spreading to adjacent vegetation. Generally, pile burns produce less smoke and burn with less intensity than broadcast burns across a larger landscape.
The SFNF manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke from the Pacheco Canyon prescribed pile burn may be visible in Santa Fe, Tesuque, Nambe, Los Alamos and Pojoaque as well as the I-25 and US 285/84 corridors.
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 can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website. Information on the Forest Stewards Guild’s HEPA Filter Loan Program is available here.
For more information on the Pacheco Canyon pile burn, contact the Española Ranger District at 505.753.7331.