Prescribed Burn Planned on the Santa Fe National Forest Española Ranger District

Santa Fe, NM – May 9, 2016 – For Immediate Release.  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest hope to take advantage of current conditions to conduct the previously announced Mesitas prescribed burn on the Española Ranger District this week.  The 1,700-acre treatment area is located approximately six miles southwest of Abiquiu, 15 miles north of Los Alamos and 15 miles northwest of Española.

Ignitions are planned to begin May 11, but that window is dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts.  Once ignitions have started, they are expected to last two to five 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 habitat diversity.   The prescribed 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, and information will be available to provide health advisories as necessary.  Lingering smoke may be present for up to one week after ignitions are complete.  Smoke will likely be visible from Abiquiu, Española, Los Alamos, Coyote, Cañones, Youngsville and Pojoaque.

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 Department of Health website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.

For additional information about these prescribed burns, please contact the Española Ranger Station at 505-753-7331 or visit New Mexico Fire Information at www.nmfireinfo.com.

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