Tres Piedras District to Conduct Tio Gordito Prescribed Burn in October

Taos, NM (September 21, 2018) – For Immediate Release.  Fire managers on the Carson National Forest plan to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, winds, and weather forecasts to initiate a prescribed burn in the Tio Gordito project area between October 1st and October 31st 2018.

This 1,792 acre broadcast burn is located on the west side of US Highway 285, 3 miles south of Tres Piedras.  The project boundary includes FS road 222, 578, and 578A.  Once ignition starts the duration of the burn is expected to take two to five days to complete.   A combination of hand and aerial ignitions will be implemented.

The objective of Tio Gordito prescribed burn is to restore the dry forest types.  The goal is to remove some small trees while preserving the healthiest, fire-resistant species, such as ponderosa pine.  This will improve forest health, forest structure, and wildlife habitat while reducing the threat of high severity, high intensity wildfire to the public, adjacent private property, and natural resources in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) area that surrounds the community of Tres Piedras.  This project is being implemented with cooperation from New Mexico Game and Fish.

An open house will be held at the Tres Piedras Ranger District October 1st from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.  Fire managers, fuel specialist, and other forest employees will be on hand to discuss the Tio Gordito prescribed burn.

Smoke may be visible from the communities of Tres Piedras, Questa, Arroyo Hondo, Des Montes, Arroyo Seco, Taos, Espanola and Ojo Caliente as well as Antonito and Alamosa, Colorado. Smoke may also impact US Highway 64 and US Highway 285.

Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Smoke from the prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure New Mexico Environment Department 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

For additional information about the prescribed burn, contact the Tres Piedras Ranger District at 575-758-8678.

The picture is from the previous prescribed burn in the Tio Gordito project area, unit #5 on October 14th 2016. 



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