Lincoln National Forest – Sacramento Ranger District – Wet Burnt Prescribed Fire – NO ignitions this week!

5/23/16 – 3:00 pm – Prescribed Fire Update:  Today’s extended forecast calls for high winds through Thursday therefore, firefighters will forego plans for ignitions this week.  They will reassess the conditions next week following the Memorial Day holiday.

5/23/16 – 9:30 am – Prescribed Fire Update:  This morning’s weather forecast calls for hotter, drier days WITH INCREASED WINDS on Tuesday and Wednesday, therefore firefighters are targeting THURSDAY for ignitions, if conditions are favorable.  The burning window is always dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, weather forecasts and having the appropriate number and type of resources in place on the day of the burn.

If all conditions are met, a “test fire” will be ignited (within a small area or single pile) to determine the effectiveness of the prescribed fire treatment, before continuing with ignition operations on the project.

Generally, within about 30 minutes, firefighters will be able to determine whether or not the test fire is successful.  If successful, they will proceed with ignitions and this NMFIREINFO post will be updated to advise readers that “ignitions have begun.” Please stay tuned and thank you!

Regarding smoke, in the event of a prescribed fire or wildfire:  If visibility becomes lower because of smoke, please visit the NM Department of Health’s smoke page:

5/20/16 – 2:15 pm – Prescribed Fire Update:  Target date for ignitions is Wednesday, May 25th.

4/19/16 – 12:30 pm – Prescribed Fire Update:  Prescribed fire operations on the Wet Burnt project have been postponed.  USFS Firefighters who were identified for the lighting operations on this specific project have mobilized to the Eastern United States for wildfire response.  Personnel assigned to key duties in the “Burn Plan” are an integral part of the operations.  If the proper resources are not available, or cannot be backfilled, the ignitions must be postponed in accordance with the prescription outlined in the burn plan.  Postponing demonstrates a success as fire managers adhere to the prescription and make the call for “no-go” or to postpone.

ALAMOGORDO, CLOUDCROFT, NMApril 12, 2016 – With the abundant moisture from the 2015/2016 winter months and the moisture received in the last several weeks, fire officials on the Sacramento Ranger District in Cloudcroft, NM, plan to implement prescribed fire operations on the Wet Burnt project during the last two weeks of April and possibly through the end of May.

The Wet Burnt Prescribed Fire is 988 acres and is located on Federal Land in the headwaters of the Wet Burnt drainage along the Carr Gap road, which is ½ mile southeast of the 16 Springs subdivision and 4 miles north of Mayhill, NM.

A fire information board with maps and prescribed fire-related information will be posted in the vicinity of the project area.

Prescribed burning in this area may begin early next week, with the possibility of extending into May. Exact ignition dates will be dependent upon weather and fuel moisture conditions. Fire managers will be monitoring the conditions closely to ensure that they fall within the ranges that have been identified in the burn plan. Optimal conditions will result in good ventilation and smoke dispersal, as well as help achieve the desired effects needed to accomplish the burn plan objectives.

The purpose of this project is woodland restoration and enhancement of ponderosa pine stands by reducing ground and ladder fuels, which in turn will reduce the severity of wildland fire within the project boundaries in the future. This could help aid in protection of valuable resources and adjacent private properties (Wildland Urban Interface) in the future. Additionally, wildlife habitat improvement cuts exist in the unit which consist of patch cut openings, up to 5 acres in size, with buffers left between cuts.  The objective in these areas is to use prescribed fire to eliminate the slash generated by thinning and create openings to restore browse species for mule deer and other wildlife.

Smoke from this burn could be visible from Mayhill, 16 Springs, Peñasco, Hope, Duncan, Artesia, Ruidoso, Pinon, Cloudcroft, and the surrounding areas. Smoke may settle into drainages and lower elevations at night, but is expected to dissipate by late-morning, as daytime temperatures increase. In the event that smoke is encountered on travel ways, motorists are advised to reduce travel speeds and turn lights on.

The Wet Burnt project area is popular for wildlife and also attracts many hunters during the spring turkey hunting season. The timing of optimal weather and fuel conditions needed for the Wet Burnt project coincides with hunting season, so hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts destined for this area may see fire, smoke, fire personnel, and equipment. Please use caution when traveling or hunting near the project area.  This project is being accomplished through the collaborative efforts of the USFS and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

For additional information about prescribed fire projects on the Sacramento Ranger District, please call Jay Northcott or Caleb Finch at 575-682-2551, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

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Click on this link to view a vicinity map:  Wet Burnt RX Vicinity Map

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