NM Fire Info

Prescribed Burn Continuing in the Thunderbird Area of the Mountainair Ranger District

Mountainair, NM November 13, 2017: Fire managers on the Mountainair Ranger District will be resuming prescribed burning in the Manzano Mountains. If conditions are suitable, fire crews will be burning near the Thunderbird private property just north of FR#275. This is a continuation of the burns started in October. This burn is located within the Thunderbird Ecosystem Management Project area. This area has been previously thinned so fire personnel will be re-entering the area to burn excess material left behind after the thinning operation.

The burn date is tentatively scheduled to begin on November 14th through the 16th but may be conducted at any point within the next few weeks as conditions allow. Fire managers on the district will be evaluating resource availability and closely watching weather patterns and fuel moistures to determine the best day and time to implement the burns. When ignited, fire crews will monitor the burn for as long as necessary.

As with most of the burns in the Manzano Mountains, the goal of this project is to improve watershed and wildlife biodiversity, and to help protect private property in the event of a wildfire by reducing fuel loading (amount of fuel available to burn). Our ecosystem depends on fire to promote new vegetation, enhance habitat and reduce the threat of large fire. It also improves public and firefighter safety by reducing the accumulated fuels that could otherwise contribute to more intense fire behavior under hotter and drier conditions.

During the prescribed burn, NFS roads directly affected by the burn may be closed to the public. Signs will be posted in any areas with temporary road closures. Temporary road signs warning about smoke and activity on the roads will be posted on State Highways 131 and 55 along with Forest Roads #422, #253 and #275. Smoke may be noticeable throughout any of the local mountain communities and will include the Estancia Valley and the west side of the Manzano Mountains. Smoke may be seen as far north as State Highways 217 and 337 in the Tijeras area. Fire fighters will make every attempt to burn during times of the day when ventilation is optimal. Additional fire vehicles will be in the area patrolling and monitoring the roads. Please drive carefully when on affected roads as visibility might be impacted due to smoke.
For further information contact Arlene Perea at 505-506-1959, 505-847-2990 or atperea@fs.fed.us.