Prescribed Burn Planned for Luera Mountains on State Trust Land South of Datil, NM

Contact: Mark Meyers, Forester (505) 946-7082

The New Mexico State Land Office is preparing for a prescribed burn from May 30-June 10, 2017 on state trust land approximately 30 miles south of Datil, NM in the Luera Mountains. The intent of the burn is to reintroduce fire into the ecosystem.  Returning fire to the area after years of exclusion will promote diversity in the ecosystem by restoring ponderosa pine stands and piñon/juniper woodlands. The project will also reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and the associated post-wildfire erosion. Additionally, the prescribed burn will have beneficial effects on the associated grasslands, revitalizing grass and forb species while reducing less desirable woody species.

The project will include numerous partners such as The Nature Conservancy, New Mexico State Forestry, New Mexico Prescribed Fire Council, The Forest Stewards Guild, South Central Mountain RC&D Council, and the Southwest Fire Science Consortium.

Smoke may be visible from the communities of Magdalena, Datil, and the Very Large Array (VLA). Smoke may settle in the adjacent communities during the night but should disperse by mid-morning. Motorists are advised to use caution when driving along smoke impacted highways.

For people with respiratory ailments, sensitivities to smoke, or otherwise concerned about air quality impacts, please visit the New Mexico Environment Department’s website at

About the State Land Office

The State Land Office is responsible for administering 9 million acres of surface and 13 million acres of subsurface estate for the beneficiaries of the state land trust, which includes schools, universities, hospitals and other important public institutions.

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