Camino Real District Announces Plans for Prescribed Burns  

Taos, NM (June 20, 2019) – For Immediate Release.  After taking into consideration current and predicted weather, fuel moistures and current and expected fire behavior, fire managers on the Camino Real Ranger District of the Carson National Forest plan to implement prescribed fire projects as early as June 28th and continuing as long as weather conditions permit. Approximately 986 acres could be eligible for treatment. The implementation of each project will only occur when weather, fuel moisture, and smoke dispersal conditions remain favorable.

Taos Pines and Bull Springs units:  These prescribed burn units are located off Highway 64 at Palo Flechado Pass.  Taos Pines unit, 410 acres, is adjacent to the community of Taos Pines and Forest Service Road 5.  Bull Springs unit is 576 acres, and is located south of State Highway 64 along the A1 spur of the Elliott Barker Trail and extends south to the meadow near Bull Springs. Once ignitions start it may take up to a week to complete the burn. The Elliot Barker trail #1 segment from Bull Springs Meadow to Apache Pass will not be accessible during prescribed fire operations. Also, the trail known as Palo Flechado trail #1A from Palo Flechado Pass to Bull Springs Meadow will also be inaccessible during this time. These units were thinned in 2014 and subsequently utilized as fuelwood areas. The intent is to burn the residual fuels to create defensible space near the communities of Taos Pines and Angel Fire, restore forest health, and improve wildlife habitat.  Smoke from the Taos Pines and Bull Springs burns will be visible to Angel Fire, Taos Canyon, Eagle Nest, Valle Escondido, and Black Lake.

Prescribed burns are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. Prescribed fire mimics natural fires by reducing accumulations of hazard fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. Taos Pines and Bull Springs prescribed burns are designed to help mitigate risk of high-severity wildfire, provide community protection and promote watershed and forest health.  Prescribed fires are always managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.

For additional information about these prescribed burns, contact the Camino Real Ranger District at 575-587-2255.

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