Sandia and Mountainair Ranger Districts Plan for Prescribed Burns

Albuquerque, NM, February 12, 2018 – Fire Managers are planning to execute prescribed fires on the Sandia and Mountainair Ranger Districts this spring.  Prescribed fires are planned ignitions conducted under specific conditions to restore fire dependent ecosystems.  These fires promote forest health in many ways such as reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients, and increasing habitat diversity.  They are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.  The following will be conducted as conditions allow:


  • David Canyon Prescribed Fire – up to 208 acres will be treated to promote forest health and provide protection to nearby communities. This will be a broadcast burn, meaning that hand ignitions will be used to ignite ground fuels over a widespread area within a clearly defined perimeter. The prescribed fire will be conducted in previously treated (mastication, mechanically harvested, and manually thinned) area of the David Canyon Forest Restoration Project Area. This site is located approximately 6 miles south of Tijeras.


  • Thunderbird Prescribed Fire – up to 288 acres will be treated in the Manzano Mountains. If conditions are suitable, fire crews will broadcast burn near the Thunderbird private property just north of FR#275. This is a continuation of the burns started last October and November.  This burn is located within the Thunderbird Ecosystem Management Project area.  This area has been previously treated (thinned and harvested) so fire personnel will be re-entering the area to burn excess material left behind after the thinning operation.


Exact burn dates have not been set as managers are looking for suitable weather conditions.  It may be conducted throughout the months of February or March when conditions allow.  Fire managers on the districts 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 burns for as long as necessary.


Prescribed fires are planned in coordination with the New Mexico Department of Environmental Quality and every effort is made to minimize smoke impacts; however, smoke from prescribed fires is inevitable.  Smoke sensitive individuals are encouraged to take precautionary measures.  Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health website at


For more information, please call the Sandia Ranger District at 505-281-3304 or the Mountainair Ranger District at 505-847-2990.

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