Prescribed Burn Planned for McKinley and Sandoval Counties

Albuquerque, NM – Starting Monday, November 9, 2015, weather permitting, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rio Puerco Field Office will begin conducting a prescribed burn that includes approximately 300 acres within the Ignacio Chavez and Chamisa Wilderness Study Areas.

The area, known as Mesa Chivato, is comprised of ponderosa pine, piñon, and juniper, and is west of Highway 550, located approximately 15 miles southwest of San Luis, New Mexico.  Historic uses and active fire suppression have interrupted the natural fire regime in this fire dependent ecosystem.  This has resulted in hazardous fuel accumulations and increased stand densities, which contribute to the decline of wildlife habitat and the potential of catastrophic wildfire.

The goal of this project is to employ management ignited prescribed fire to reduce stand densities, ladder fuels, and hazardous fuel loadings that under the right conditions could contribute to high intensity crown fire.

Prescribed fire in progress signs will be posted along BLM Road 1103 during the days of the burn, and the smoke may be visible from Highway 550.

For additional information about this planned burn, please contact Fire Management Officer Todd Richards at 505-761-8769 or Supervisory Range Technician Pete Rivera at 505-761-8943.


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

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