Prescribed burn illustration. Courtesy photo
SANTA FE—Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest plan to conduct several prescribed fires across the forest over the next few weeks to reduce hazardous fuels, provide community protection, and restore forest health.
The start dates and duration of the burns are subject to change depending on favorable conditions. Through hand ignition firefighters will burn slash piles and conduct broadcast burns (burning surface fuels in a mosaic pattern.) Smoke may be visible intermittently through the coming weeks.
Gallinas Watershed Prescribed Burn: Tuesday, Jan. 14 through Feb. 28. Approximately 20 miles northwest of Las Vegas within Johnson Mesa. The goal is to incrementally treat 200 acres.
Smoke from the burn may be visible from: Gallinas, El Porvenir, San Pablo, Mineral Hill, San Geronimo and Gascon. Smoke may impact Hwy. 65, which is the main access to the Gallinas corridor and may affect visual qualities of Hermit’s Peak. Aside from surrounding communities, smoke may be visible from Panderies, Las Vegas and along I-25 north and south of Las Vegas. Smoke is expected to settle into lower elevations and in drainage areas during the evenings but should lift by mid-morning.
Borrego Prescribed Burn: Monday, Jan. 13 through Feb. 28. Approximately 3 miles East of Cordova and 3 miles South of Truchas. The goal is to incrementally treat 55 acres.
Smoke from the burn may be visible from Santa Fe, Española, Tesuque, Truchas, Cordova, Peñasco and El Rito. Smoke is expected to settle into lower elevations and in drainage areas during the evenings but should lift by mid-morning.
Los Griego Pile Burn: Wednesday, Jan. 15 through April 30. Approximately 7 miles northeast of Jemez Springs. The goal is to incrementally treat 400 acres; 100 acres per day.
Smoke from the burn will be visible from: La Cueva, Sierra Los Pinos, Hwy. 4 between La Cueva and the Valle Grande, Jemez Pueblo, San Ysidro, Zia Pueblo, Bernalillo, Rio Rancho and areas off Hwy. 550. Smoke is expected to settle into lower elevations and in drainage areas during the evenings but should lift by mid-morning
Prior to ignition, fire managers consider 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 and safe 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.