BLM Continues Prescribed Fire in Cibola County

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rio Puerco Field Office plans to conduct a prescribed burn on approximately 1,500 acres within the El Malpais National Conservation Area (NCA), located approximately 40 miles southeast of Grants, New Mexico, beginning May 15, weather permitting.  Fire managers estimate it will take approximately two to four days to complete the burning operations, although smoke may be visible for longer.  The prescribed fire is being done in cooperation with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

This continues the second phase of a multi-year forest restoration project on the Mertz Ranch portion of the NCA.  Fire crews recently blacklined, or burned, key areas along the perimeter of the burn unit, in preparation for the main burn.  The goal is to improve ecological health of ponderosa pine forests and open up grassy meadows that have become choked with piñon and juniper trees and dense stands of ponderosa pine.

The project location is approximately 40 miles southeast of Grants, New Mexico, in the Gibson and Blue Water Canyon area east of State Highway 117.  Smoke may be visible from Interstate 40 and State Highways 53 and 117.

For additional information about this project, please contact Fire Management Officer Todd Richards at 505-761-8769 or Assistant Fire Management Officer Zach Saavedra at 505-761-8963.

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