SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest plan to continue the La Jara prescribed pile burns on the Cuba Ranger District if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable.
The La Jara prescribed pile burn, a total of 275 acres northeast of the community of La Jara, may continue through March 30. Small blocks 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.
The La Jara prescribed pile burns are 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 prescribed burns will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. The communities of La Jara, Cuba and Regina and areas near Highway 96 and Highway 550 are likely to see smoke from the La Jara prescribed burn.
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 https://nmtracking.org/fire.
For additional information about these prescribed burns, please contact the Cuba Ranger District at 575.289.3264.