BLM Prescribed Burns Planned for Lincoln County, Jan.-March 2018

Beginning in late January, and continuing through March 2018, the Bureau of Land Management will be conducting prescribed burn operations within the Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area.  There are five prescribed fire units within the NCA located about 10 miles northeast of Ruidoso and five miles southeast of Capitan in Lincoln County.  The units are:

  • The Benches Unit: 254 acres, located above the Rio Bonito River to the north.
  • West Mesa Unit: 223 acres, located 5 miles southwest of the junction of SR 220 and US 380.
  • South Mesa Unit: 300 acres, located west of Sierra Blanca Regional Airport.
  • South Runway Unit: 118 acres, located south of Sierra Blanca Regional Airport.
  • Camp Sierra Blanca Unit: 163 acres, located 3 miles southwest of the junction of SR 220 and US 380.

These operations are dependent upon weather conditions, and will take several days to complete.  Smoke from the burns may be visible from Capitan, Lincoln, Ruidoso and other surrounding communities.  Signs will be posted along roadways to inform motorists of smoke.  Motorists should reduce speed in these areas and watch for fire personnel and equipment.

The purpose of the prescribed burning is to serve the local community by reducing accumulated flammable vegetation, decreasing the risk of wildfire to adjacent property and improving watershed conditions.  Other goals are to increase health, vigor, and competitive ability of the native plant community and to reduce the density of exotics, invader and introduced species.  The burn projects will also improve wildlife habitat and contribute to the available nutrients and water cycles by decreasing the amount decadent vegetation.

For more information on this prescribed burn and the BLM fire and fuels program, please call Nathan Curnutt at (575) 627-0311.  Follow implementation of these prescribed fires at  To report a wildfire on public land, please call Alamogordo Interagency Dispatch at (877) 695-1663.

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