Jemez Springs, NM. – National Park Service (NPS) fire managers successfully treated 478 acres with prescribed fire in the Banco Bonito district of the Valles Caldera National Preserve – north of NM State Road 4 near mile marker 30. Because the weather forecast for Thursday through Sunday is not favorable for smoke dispersion, fire managers will not conduct additional ignitions during this time. Smoke may still be present through the weekend, but it is expected to decrease each day.
Fire personnel are patrolling and monitoring the treated portion of the planned 1,200-acre prescribed burn unit to ensure the fire continues to provide resource benefits in a safe manner. Ignitions may resume as early as Monday of next week if the forecast improves.
Prescribed fires play an important role in decreasing risks to life, resources, and property by reducing accumulations of forest fuels and maintaining the natural role of fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem. This was the second successful prescribed fire on the preserve this year. In May, fire managers successfully treated 1,250 acres of grassland in the Valle Grande.
Because of the location and elevation of the prescribed burn, smoke may be visible from all directions coming into the Jemez Mountains area. It may be a health concern for children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and those suffering from allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities, or other heart or lung diseases. To reduce exposure to smoke, stay indoors as much as possible with windows, doors and vents closed. Avoid or limit physical activities outdoors. Information on health impacts from smoke can be found by calling the New Mexico Department of Health at 1-888-878-8992, or by visiting https://nmtracking.org/fire.
More information about this burn can be found under the ‘news releases’ section of the official Valles Caldera National Preserve website http://www.nps.gov/vall