Prescribed Burn Planned on Santa Fe National Forest Jemez Ranger District

SANTA FE, NM – September 28, 2015 For Immediate Release. Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct a prescribed burn on the south end of the Paliza treatment area within the boundaries of the Southwest Jemez Mountains Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project on the Jemez Ranger District.

The window for the Paliza prescribed burn will open October 12 and extend through October 31, 2015.  The decision to burn will be dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, weather forecasts and available resources.

The 6,108-acre Paliza treatment area is located between Forest Road (FR) 137 and FR 266 approximately 5 miles southeast of Jemez Springs and 3 miles northeast of Ponderosa, NM.  The South Paliza prescribed burn includes 3,481 acres on the Santa Fe National Forest and 2,627 acres on Jemez Pueblo lands.  Crews will use hand and aerial ignitions.

Smoke from the Paliza prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure it meets the requirements of the New Mexico Environment Department Air Quality Bureau’s smoke management program.  Smoke may be visible from Ponderosa, Jemez Springs, Jemez Pueblo, Cochiti Pueblo, San Ysidro, Bernalillo, Albuquerque, and surrounding communities as well as Interstate 25 and Highway 550.  It is likely to settle into low elevations and drainages at night.

Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma and other respiratory illnesses 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 website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.

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 habitat diversity.  Each prescribed burn is designed to meet specific objectives. The Paliza prescribed burn is designed to improve and protect the Ponderosa Watershed by reducing the risk for high-intensity wildfire.  Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

For additional information about these prescribed burns, please contact the Jemez Ranger Station at 575-829-3535.

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