Prescribed Burns Planned on Valles Caldera National Preserve

Jemez Springs, NM — Fire managers are planning to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and forecasted weather, to conduct prescribed burns within Valles Caldera National Preserve during October 1 through December 31. The exact dates will depend on conditions on the ground.

The prescribed burns will target up to 667 acres in the Banco Bonito area and up to 2,158 acres in the Seco area.  The burns may impact visitors by closing small sections of the preserve.

The parameters for implementing a prescribed burn are based upon specific assessments, agency guidelines, and safety protocols. Managers continuously monitor weather conditions during a burn including wind, temperature, and relative humidity. Fuel quantity and moisture are also measured. The project will not begin unless all conditions support the burn and associated resources are  available. If conditions are not right, the burns may be postponed.

Smoke from the prescribed burns will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met.  Smoke will likely be visible from US Highway 550 and New Mexico Route 4 as well as the communities of Jemez Springs and Los Alamos.

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 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

For more information, contact Valles Caldera National Preserve at (575) 829-4100.

Map showing locations prescribed burns within Valles Caldera National Preserve.

Map showing locations prescribed burns within Valles Caldera National Preserve.

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