BLM plans prescribed burn in Socorro County in Feb.-March, 2020

Between Feb. 10 and March 20, the Bureau of Land Management’s Socorro Field Office, in cooperation with the New Mexico State Land Office, White Sands Missile Range and private landowners plan to burn up to 1,100 acres east of Socorro, NM.  Four separate units of sacaton grass and brush will be burned, weather permitting.  Two units are located 3-12 miles north of US Highway 380 and 15 miles east-southeast of Socorro, NM.  The remaining two units are located two miles east of Bingham, NM, immediately adjacent to US Highway 380.

Active ignition will take one to two days for each burn unit, with smoke possibly visible in the burn areas for up to a week after ignition operations are completed.  Smoke may also be visible from Socorro, White Sands Missile Range and Bingham.   Firefighters will monitor the burn until there is no visible smoke.

For the safety of fire personnel and other drivers, motorists on Highway 380 are asked to slow down and use caution when driving through the area.  Two of the burn units are situated immediately adjacent to US Hwy 380, where fire crews may be working near the highway and smoke from the burn may cause brief periods of reduced visibility.

The objectives for the burn are to rejuvenate decadent grass, reduce wildfire risk, reduce tree encroachment into sacaton draws, improve ecosystem health and enhance wildlife habitat.  Prescribed burning is one of the most effective tools to control vegetation.  By reducing the volume of vegetation under a range of predetermined conditions, land managers mimic the natural fire cycle, which greatly reduces the dangers and risks associated with unplanned wildfires.

Questions about the burn should be directed to the BLM Socorro Field Office at 575-835-0412.

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