Carson National Forest Announces Plan for La Jara Prescribed Burn on Camino Real Ranger District

TAOS, NM – Oct. 1, 2020 – Fire managers on the Carson National Forest are planning to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, winds and weather forecasts, to implement the La Jara Prescribed Burn on the Camino Real Ranger District between Oct. 19 and Nov. 20. If weather conditions permit, approximately 1,200 acres could be eligible for treatment.

The La Jara Prescribed Burn is located off Highway 64 between mile marker 271 and 272. The ignition units are on both sides of Forest Road 5 and North of Forest Road 706. The intent of the project is to burn residual fuels to create a defensible space near the communities of Taos Pines and Angel Fire, restore forest health and improve wildlife habitat.

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 forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. The La Jara Prescribed Burn Unit is designed to help mitigate the risk of high-severity wildfire, protect communities and promote watershed and forest health.  Prescribed fires are always managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Smoke may be visible from Angel Fire, Taos Canyon, Eagle Nest, Valle Escondido, Black Lake and surrounding communities.

A high priority of the La Jara prescribed burn will be to minimize smoke impacts to surrounding communities by utilizing available Emissions Reduction Techniques (ERTs) and taking a risk-informed approach to managing prescribed fire during COVID-19. Fire managers will consult with the National Weather Service, New Mexico Environment Department Air Quality Bureau – Smoke Management Program, and local health departments to assess potential smoke impacts to adjacent communities. The Carson National Forest manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management.

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 (NMDOH) website: https://nmtracking.org/fire.

For more information about the La Jara prescribed burn, contact the Camino Real Ranger District at 575-741-0641.

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