Ignitions begin on Santa Fe Watershed Prescribed Burn

Ignitions begin on Santa Fe Watershed Prescribed Burn

SANTA FE, NM – September 27, 2015 For Immediate Release – Weather conditions are favorable today and fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest have decided to begin ignitions on the Santa Fe Watershed prescribed burn, on the Española Ranger District .

Today crews will construct an approximately 60 foot wide black-line around the perimeter. Tomorrow, fire managers plan to utilize a helicopter to conduct aerial ignitions in addition to hand ignitions. Up to 1,000 acres may be treated.

The Santa Fe Watershed burn area is located approximately 1.5 miles east of the city of Santa Fe and west of the Agua Sarca drainage. Once ignitions begin, they are expected to last for two to three days.

Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing wildlife habitat diversity. Each prescribed burn is designed to meet specific objectives. The Santa Fe Watershed prescribed burn is 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 pile burn will be monitored to ensure that it meets the requirements of the New Mexico Environment Department Air Quality Bureau’s smoke management program.  Lingering smoke may be present for up to one week after ignitions are complete. Smoke will likely be visible from Santa Fe, Canada de Los Alamos, Tesuque, Glorieta, Pecos and Pecos Canyon, El Dorado and I-25.

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 NMED’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.

For additional information about this prescribed burn, please contact the Santa Fe Watershed Fire Information Team at 505-438-5321 or 575 741-1516.

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