Dripping Springs Prescribed Fire – Ignitions Planned for TODAY, March 5th

The fire suppression effort is ongoing as 13 firefighters are winding down fire operations on the 50-acre Baylor Canyon Fire,  which is 75% contained.   

The Dripping Springs Prescribed Fire is scheduled for ignition operations TODAY, March 5th, if all conditions are favorable and within the parameters outlined in the Burn Plan.  The standard protocol is to conduct a Test Fire at the prescribed fire site to observe the fire behavior under current (day of burn) weather and fuel conditions.  If the test fire is successful, firefighters will proceed with hand ignitions.  Once prescribed fire operations are underway, www.nmfireinfo.com will be updated to provide information about the status of the burn, generally “continuing with ignitions” or postponing due to unfavorable fire behavior observed during the test fire. 

Prescribed Burn Planned in Dripping Springs Natural Area

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – On March 5, the Bureau of Land Management is planning a prescribed burn at the Dripping Springs Natural Area (Natural Area), near Las Cruces.  Weather permitting, the burn will be conducted in the morning.  Smoke will be highly visible to the City of Las Cruces and the surrounding communities.

The Dripping Springs Trail, which begins at the visitor center and heads up to the historic Van Patten Mountain Camp and meets a portion of Crawford Trail, will be closed to the public for the day of the burn.  The visitor center site hosts will have information on the remaining trails opened for hiking on that day.

In total, 15 to 20 BLM firefighters and personnel will ignite and monitor the prescribed burn.  Most of the rapid-burning fuels will be consumed during the initial burning period, because of the rapid burn of the fuel type.  Two BLM fire engines will remain on site until the prescribed burn is completely extinguished.

A goal of the prescribed burn in the Natural Area is to maintain a safety zone for visitors and firefighters in case of future wildfires.  The safety zone will also help protect the natural area’s historic structures.

Prescribed burning is one of the most effective tools to control vegetation in areas where wildfires are no longer appropriate.  By reducing the volume of vegetation under the specific prescribed conditions, land managers mimic the natural fire cycle, which greatly reduces the dangers and risks associated with unplanned wildfires.

For additional information about the prescribed burn, please contact BLM Las Cruces District Fuels Specialist Ricky Cox at 575-525-4467 or BLM Las Cruces District Fire Management Officer Mark Bernal at 575-525-4305.

NOTE to Editors:  If the weather does not allow for the week of March 4, the BLM will conduct the burn the following week of March 11, weather permitting.

PIO:   Loretta Benavidez, 575-525-4463, lb.nmpio2@gmail.com

To view the official BLM News Release, click here:  News Release – Dripping Springs Prescribed Fire

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