Virgin Mesa Prescribed Burn Planned on Jemez Ranger District (SFNF)

SANTA FE, NM – Sept. 22, 2016 – For Immediate Release. Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct the Virgin Mesa prescribed fire on the Jemez Ranger District. Ignitions for the 1,950-acre planned area, located 1 mile west of Jemez Springs, could begin as early as Sept. 26 and run through Sept. 30, 2016. That window is dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts.

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 Virgin Mesa prescribed fire area, located within the boundaries of the Southwest Jemez Mountains Landscape Restoration Project, 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 Virgin Mesa prescribed fire will likely be visible from NM Highway 4 between La Cueva and the Jemez Pueblo, NM Highway 550 from San Ysidro to Bernalillo, Albuquerque, and Interstate 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 New Mexico Department of Health’s website at

For additional information about this prescribed burn, please contact the Jemez Ranger District at 575-829-3535.



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