Taos, NM, September 12, 2016—For Immediate Release. The Tres Piedras Ranger District of the Carson National Forest plans to conduct a prescribed burn on a total of 1,452 acres in the Tio Gordito Project Area between September 25 and October 21, 2016. This prescribed burn is contingent on favorable conditions such as wind, relative humidity, temperature, and available resources. The project is located on the west side of US Highway 285, three miles south of the Tres Piedras Ranger District and the community of Tres Piedras.
The goal of the Tio Gordito prescribed burn is to begin to restore dry forest types such as ponderosa pine, by removing smaller trees to reduce tree densities while retaining the largest, healthiest trees leaving stands less susceptible to crown fires. This prescribed burn will also improve wildlife habitat diversity, and revitalize meadows and aspen groves.
This project is being implemented with cooperation from New Mexico Game and Fish.
Historically, low-intensity wildfires burned through southwestern forests every two to 10 years as part of a natural cycle. Prescribed fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. This is one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems by applying low-intensity fire to the landscape under specific conditions within predetermined boundaries. Besides promoting forest health, these fires provide community protection. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
Smoke may be visible from the communities of Tres Piedras, Questa, Arroyo Hondo, Des Montes, Arroyo Seco, Taos, Espanola and Ojo Caliente as well as Antonito and Alamosa, Colorado. Smoke may also impact US Highway 64 and US Highway 285.
Smoke from the prescribed burn will be monitored, and the 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-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.
For additional information about this prescribed burn, please contact the Tres Piedras Ranger District at 575-758-8678 For text messages on the progress of the fire text ‘follow CarsonNF’ to 40404.