SFNF Monitors Another Lightning-Sparked Fire on Pecos/Las Vegas District

SANTA FE, NM – Aug. 6, 2019 – Fire staff on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) are monitoring the lightning-caused Alamitos Fire near Forest Road (FR) 375 2 miles north of the community of La Cueva within a previously treated fuel break.

While the monsoonal weather patterns are bringing a fair amount of moisture to the area, fire managers are considering strategically adding low-intensity fire to the ground to achieve significant benefits on the ground, including community protection, reduced risk of wildfire and improved forest health.

Depending on weather and other conditions, crews could begin blacklining and prepping as early as tomorrow to treat up to 200 acres. The current plan is to complete firing operations within one day on Thursday.

The Alamitos Fire started on Monday and is burning in ponderosa pine and oak brush. Smoke from the Alamitos Fire may impact the communities of La Cueva and Pecos and may be visible from I-25 and NM State Highway 223.

Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at https://nmtracking.org/fire. People with health concerns can also call NMDOH at 505-827-0006 for additional information.  For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://facnm.org/smoke#smokeanchor5.

Historically, low-intensity wildfires in southwestern dry conifer forests were part of a natural cycle that removed leaf litter, eradicated disease and thinned the understory, making room for new growth.  Lightning-caused ignitions like the Alamitos Fire mimic that natural process and help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire by reducing fine fuels and debris on the forest floor.

Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com, www.facebook.com/SantaFeNF and Twitter @SantafeNF. For additional information about the Alamitos Fire, please contact the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District at 505-757-6121.

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