Cibola NF & NG – Magdalena Ranger District Planning Baney Prescribed Burn

Magdalena, N.M., September 12, 2019 – The Cibola National Forest, Magdalena Ranger District is planning a prescribed burn to help improve wildlife habitat and forest health. The Baney Prescribed Fire Project is expected to begin this fall and continue until completed, depending on weather and vegetation conditions.

  • Up to 2,500 acres will be treated in the northwestern part of the San Mateo Mountains on the Magdalena Ranger District, approximately 35 miles southwest of Magdalena, New Mexico. The expected areas of implementation are located along and south of FSR 476 and along and west of FSR 549 in Township 05 South Range 07 West Sections 18,19,29, 30 and 32 as well as Township 06 South Range 07 West sections 5 and 7.
  • The objectives of this prescribed fire are to restore the natural fire regime of Ponderosa Pine, Pinyon-Juniper and Grassland ecosystems, improve and enhance wildlife habitat, and improve the health of the watershed inside the project area.

Prior to ignitions, the Magdalena Ranger District will ensure that there is a favorable weather forecasted and that the required personnel and equipment are on hand. Fire management crews will monitor the burn for as long as necessary to ensure public safety.  If hunting seasons are ongoing during the time of the burn, there may be delays when traveling on Forest Road #476 and #549. Smoke will be visible from US Highway 60 west of Magdalena, NM and New Mexico 52, west and northwest of Magdalena, NM, particularly during the evening and early morning hours when temperatures cool.  Please drive carefully when on these forest roads, as visibility might be lower due to smoke.  Use caution and drive with your headlights on.

Prescribed fires are planned in coordination with the New Mexico Department of Environmental Quality and every effort is made to minimize smoke impacts; however, smoke from prescribed fires is inevitable.  Smoke sensitive individuals are encouraged to take precautionary measures.  Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health website at

For more information, please call the Magdalena Ranger District at 575-854-2281.

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