Gila NF: Indian Peaks Prescribed Fire Update for May 29, 2019

Truth or Consequences, NM, May 29, 2019—For Immediate Release. The Gila National Forest, Black Range Ranger District began the Indian Peaks Prescribed Fire on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. The estimated project size is 9,400 acres on National Forest System lands, and an additional 600 acres of New Mexico State Trust Lands and private property inholdings. The Black Range Ranger District has a long history of burning in the spring and on Tuesday the fire crews successfully burned 3,543 acres in Unit 11. All firelines held and no control problems were experienced during the operation. Firefighters are planning to continue with the prescribed fire over the next several days.

By applying the right fire to the right place at the right time, this controlled burn will help protect the surrounding communities and private inholdings, mitigate the risk of future high-intensity wildfire, reduce the spread of insects and disease, improve habitat for wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, and promote the growth of healthy trees, wildflowers and other plants.

The predicted weather for Wednesday, May 29 is mostly sunny, maximum temperatures of 62-68 and a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, with winds out of the west.

Duration of smoke production is hard to predict, but high-density smoke should dissipate out within one to two days after active ignitions cease. Smoke will settle in drainages and valley bottoms during the evening and early morning hours. There is a possibility the communities of Winston, Monticello, Dusty and the Middle Rio Grande Valley may experience smoke impacts. Smoke from the prescribed fire will be monitored to ensure New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are met. Smoke-sensitive individuals and those with respiratory or heart disease should take precautionary measures. Air quality information and health protection measures are posted online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website:  https://nmtracking.org/fire.  Information on this prescribed fire may be found on Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6351/ or NM Fire Info.

 

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila or join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GilaNForest/ or follow us on Twitter @GilaNForest.

5.29.19_ Indian Peaks Rx_ Smoke Management OutlookIMG_1066IMG_1076 (2)IMG_1124 (2)

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