NPS and BLM Conduct Prescribed Fire at El Malpais National Monument

The National Park Service at El Malpais National Monument and the Bureau of Land Management’s El Malpais National Conservation Area are conducting a prescribed fire on the west side of the national monument near the junction of County Road (CR) 42 and the Big Tubes turn-off. This prescribed burn is being called the Rendija Fire and will be approximately 1,500 acres. It is expected to begin on 6/20/2019. The prescribed fire will approximately last two to four days with smoke present for several days. Exact dates and times can change dependent on weather and fuel conditions.

Firefighters plan to use handheld and aerial ignitions. The Big Tubes Road (NPS 300 Road) will be closed during the burn phase. While the road is closed, Big Tubes caving permits will not be issued.  If conditions warrant, a pilot car may be used along CR 42.  Please slow down, turn your headlights on, and watch for firefighters working along the road when traveling in this area.

The primary objective of this prescribed fire is to improve forest health by reducing the build-up of vegetation that can fuel a wildfire. Fire also plays a natural role at El Malpais and helps ensure the resiliency of this fire dependent ecosystem.

For questions, call the El Malpais National Monument Visitor Center at (505) 876-2783. Fire information will also be available on  and Learn more about what’s involved in planning and implementing a prescribed fire at

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