UPDATE: Cuba Ranger District Chaparral Piles Prescribed Burn May Start Tomorrow; La Jara Piles Rx TBD

SANTA FE, NM – January 24, 2018 – For Immediate Release.  To take advantage of favorable conditions, to include fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, fire managers on the Cuba Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) expect to begin ignitions tomorrow on Chaparral piles to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire.

The La Jara prescribed burn could start sometime before March 30.

Weather permitting, crews are expected to treat up to 49 acres of the Chaparral piles.  On a date still to be determined, crews expect to complete up to 79 acres of the La Jara piles.

The Chaparral piles area is located along Forest Service Road 539, two miles south of the Rancho del Chaparral Girl Scout Camp.  Smoke may be visible from Cuba, Jemez Springs, San Ysidro, and Highway 550.

The La Jara piles area is located east of the community of La Jara.  Smoke from the La Jara piles prescribed burn may be visible from Cuba, La Jara, Regina, Highway 96, and Highway 550.

Prescribed burns are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems.  The burns mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity.  The Chaparral and La Jara piles prescribed burns will specifically remove dead forest fuels, provide community protection and promote forest health.  Prescribed burns are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Smoke from the prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are met.  Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems 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.

For additional information about this prescribed burn, please contact the Cuba Ranger District at 575.289.3264.

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