Prescribed Pile Burn on Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District to Focus on Illegally Dumped Debris

SANTA FE, NM – Jan. 10, 2017 For Immediate Release – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct an administrative pile burn to reduce illegally dumped slash and woody debris that has accumulated along Forest Road 86-A on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District.

Ignitions on the 0.1-acre site, located 3 miles northeast of the Village of Pecos, may begin as early as tomorrow if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable.

Illegal dumping is a serious problem on national forests, and even plant-based waste materials, including landscaping debris and yard clippings, pose potential threats to ecosystems, wildlife habitat, natural drainage and decomposition processes.

The administrative pile burn is expected to reduce the illegally dumped woody debris by at least 80 percent, reducing the risk of future wildfire, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Smoke from the prescribed pile burn will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. Smoke may be visible from Pecos, Cow Creek, Bull Creek, Pecos Canyon, Glorieta and Rowe.

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 Environment Department’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.

To report illegal dumping or receive additional information about these prescribed burns, please contact the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger Station at 505.425.3534 or 505.757.6121.

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