Spring Prescribed Burns Planned on Jemez Ranger District

SANTA FE, NM – April 11, 2017 For Immediate Release. Fire managers on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest hope to take advantage of favorable spring conditions to conduct prescribed burns during a window that opens April 17 and ends on May 21, 2017.  That window is dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts.

Primary targets are a 600-acre unit at the southern end of Virgin Mesa and 400 acres on the West Mesa treatment area a half mile north of Virgin Mesa off Forest Road 607.

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 habitat diversity.  Each prescribed burn is designed to meet specific objectives. The Virgin Mesa and West Mesa prescribed burns, located within the boundaries of the Southwest Jemez Mountains Landscape Restoration Project, are designed to remove dead forest fuels, provide community protection and promote forest health. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Smoke from both the Virgin Mesa and West Mesa prescribed fires will likely be visible from Jemez Springs, NM Highway 4 between La Cueva and the Jemez Pueblo, US Highway 550 from San Ysidro to Bernalillo, Albuquerque and Interstate 25.

Smoke from the prescribed burns will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease 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 https://nmtracking.org/fire.

For additional information about this prescribed burn, please contact the Jemez Ranger District at 575.829.3535.

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