SFNF Fire Crews Complete Operations on Alameda Fire

SANTA FE, NM – July 23, 2017 – For Immediate Release.  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) took advantage of a lightning strike just north of Llaves, NM, to achieve multiple resource benefits on 378 acres on the Cuba Ranger District.

The Alameda Fire started on July 18 when lightning hit a single standing dead tree approximately 1.5 miles northeast of Deadman Lookout, spreading to nearby dead and down timber. After careful analysis of the fire’s location, conditions on the ground and predicted weather, including monsoonal moisture, fire managers decided to use the natural ignition to restore fire to the landscape.

On Friday, crews blacklined the perimeter of the fire and began firing operations. By midday Saturday, they had completed the targeted 378 acres.  Today, fire crews are mopping up and securing all perimeter lines. Crews will continue to monitor the Alameda Fire as long as necessary.

Historically, low-intensity wildfires burned through southwestern forests like the SFNF every seven to 15 years as part of a natural cycle that removed leaf litter, eradicated disease and thinned the understory, making room for new growth. Managing a lightning-caused ignition like the Alameda Fire mimics that natural process. Expected benefits from the Alameda Fire include improved forest health and habitat diversity and a reduced risk of future catastrophic wildfire.

Smoke from the Alameda Fire may be visible from La Jara, Cuba, Regina, Lindrith, El Vado, Chama, Abiquiu, Tierra Amarilla, Highway 96 and US Highway 84. Smoke from the Alameda Fire is being monitored to ensure that New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are 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.

Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at nmfireinfo.com and on @SantaFeNF and www.facebook.com/SantaFeNF.  For additional information, contact the Cuba Ranger District at 575.289.3264.

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