Carson National Forest – Maquinitas Prescribed Burn

Fire managers on the Carson National Forest’s Tres Piedras Ranger District are planning to begin the Maquinita Prescribed Pile Burn sometime during the month of December when conditions are favorable. This prescribed burn is contingent on wind, relative humidity, temperature, and available resources before ignition can begin and will take 1 to 3 days to complete.

The Maquinitas project is off of Forest Roads 712 and 91 in the Tusas Valley, east of Hopewell Lake and 11 miles northwest of the community of Tres Piedras. This project consists of 300 acres of piles with some broadcast burning to reduce activity fuels from thinning projects conducted within the Maquinita area.

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, Las Tablas, Taos and surrounding areas.

Smoke from this 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

For additional information about this prescribed burn, please contact the Tres Piedras Ranger District at 575-758-8678 or fire information at 575-758-6345. For text messages on the progress of the fire text ‘follow CarsonNF’ to 40404.

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