CARLSBAD and QUEEN, NM – The Soldier Prescribed Fire project is located 40 miles southwest of Carlsbad and approximately 5 miles south of the community of Queen, NM. Firefighters plan to treat up to 4,300 acres with prescribed fire through broadcast burning. A broadcast burn is the controlled application of fire to fuels, under specified environmental conditions that allow fire to be confined to a predetermined area. Fire behavior and intensity will result in meeting resource management objectives that include: reducing the threat of wildfire to communities, improved wildlife and range conditions and improved watershed conditions to the Dark Canyon area. Specific criteria must be met in order for a broadcast burn to take place, including smoke dispersal conditions, current weather and fuel conditions, and wind speeds and direction of winds. All conditions must fall within the specific ranges that have been identified in the approved burn plan before ignition operations can begin. Appropriate staffing, types of resources and contingency resources must be on-site or available in accordance with the project-specific burn plan, as well.
Firefighters hope to implement ignitions between the dates of April 24th and May 5th. Ignitions can only begin if all conditions are met and in accordance with the prescription outlined in the approved burn plan on the day of the burn. Once ignitions have begun, they can continue with prescribed fire operations as long the conditions remain favorable.
Public and firefighter safety is always our priority with both prescribed and wildland fire. The organization that is assigned to the Soldier Prescribed Fire project includes more than 40 firefighters, four engines, three UTV’s equipped with pump packages (water storage and pumping capability), helicopter, and supervisory staff (8 – 10 overhead).
For information about prescribed fire projects on the Lincoln National Forest, please contact Loretta Benavidez, Public Affairs Officer at 575-434-7290. Prescribed fire information and updates are posted on https://nmfireinfo.com/