BLM plans pile burning in Catron County

Beginning in February and continuing through spring, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning to burn piles of juniper and piñon cuttings in three locations in Catron County, weather permitting.  In addition, debris from the creation of defensible space in the Wild Horse Subdivision will be burned.  The Wild Horse Slash Pit is located 40 miles south of Grants, N.M.

Details on each location and size are as follows:

  • Pietown Pile Burn – 20 acres, located one mile west of Pietown and immediately north of Highway 60.
  • Datil Pile Burn – 30 acres, located in the Datil Well Recreation Area approximately 3/4 mile west of the junction of Highway 60 and Highway 12.
  • Tank Canyon Pile Burn – 150 acres, located 20 miles north of Pietown off CR-41, east of the Wild Horse Road and approximately 3 miles southwest of CR-A079, adjacent to the Wild Horse Subdivision.

The piles were created as part of thinning projects, in order to reduce wildfire risk, improve ecosystem health, enhance wildlife habitat and help protect local communities from wildfire.

Active ignition will take 1-5 days, with some smoke visible in the burn areas for up to a week after ignition operations are completed.  Firefighters will monitor the burns until there is no visible smoke.  Motorists should be aware that smoke from the fires could reduce visibility for brief periods of time on Highways 60 and 12.  In addition, firefighters will be working adjacent to Highway 60, so caution is advised when driving through the areas during the burns.  To alert motorists on burn days, prescribed fire signs will be posted on Highway 60, Highway 12 and county roads near the burn locations.

Questions about these projects should be directed to the BLM Socorro Field Office at 575-835-0412.  Follow implementation of these projects on, on Twitter @nmfireinfo or on

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