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

SANTA FE, NM – Oct. 7, 2016 – For Immediate Release.  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct the previously announced Santa Fe Watershed prescribed burn as early as next week if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable.

The window for hand and aerial ignitions on the 2,435-acre treatment area, located just north of McClure Reservoir, could open as early as Wednesday, Oct. 12, and run through Friday, Oct. 21.  A total of three days of ignitions are planned and small blocks may be treated daily to minimize smoke impacts on local communities.

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 wildlife habitat diversity.  Each prescribed burn is designed to meet specific objectives.  The Santa Fe Watershed prescribed burn is designed to improve and protect the Santa Fe Watershed, a primary water source for the City of Santa Fe, by removing dead forest fuels and reducing the risk of high-intensity wildfire.  Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Smoke from the prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met.  Lingering smoke may be present for up to one week after ignitions are complete.  Smoke will likely be visible from Santa Fe, Tesuque, Glorieta, Pecos Canyon, El Dorado and I-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 Española Ranger Station at 505-753-7331.


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