Gila National Forest: Indian Peaks Prescribed Fire Update for May 31, 2019

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 with three days of work has completed 9,300 acres. Ignitions have ceased.

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.

As fuels burn down over the next several days smoke in the area will become less each day. Overall impacts to the local area remain light during the day and heavy along Highway 59 at night. Communities within the Rio Grande Valley should not notice much smoke production from the prescribed fire. 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:  Information on this prescribed fire may be found on Inciweb: or NM Fire Info. 

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at or join the conversation on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GilaNForest.

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