On March 9, 2017, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning a prescribed burn at the Dripping Springs Natural Area (Natural Area) near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Weather permitting, the burn will be conducted in the morning. Smoke will be highly visible to the City of Las Cruces and the surrounding communities.
The Dripping Springs Trail, which begins at the Visitor Center and heads up to the historic Van Patten Mountain Camp and meets a portion of Crawford Trail, will be closed to the public for the day. The Visitor Center site hosts will have information on the remaining trails opened for hiking on that day.
A goal of the prescribed burn in the Natural Area is to maintain a safety zone for visitors and firefighters in case of future wildfires. The safety zone will also help protect the Natural Area’s historic structures.
In total, 15-20 BLM firefighters and personnel will monitor the prescribed burn. Most of the rapid-burning fuels will be consumed during the initial burning period. Two BLM fire engines will remain on site until the burn is completely extinguished.
Prescribed burning is one of the most effective tools to control vegetation in areas where wildfires are no longer appropriate. By reducing the volume of vegetation under the specific prescribed conditions, land managers mimic the natural fire cycle, which greatly reduces the dangers and risks associated with unplanned wildfires.
For additional information about the prescribed burn, please contact BLM Las Cruces District Fuels Specialist Ricky Cox at 575-525-4467 or BLM Las Cruces District Fire Management Officer Mark Bernal at 575-525-4305.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.