Lincoln National Forest, Sacramento Ranger District to Conduct Prescribed Burn near 16 Springs next week.

The Sacramento Ranger District plans to begin prescribed burning in the 16 Springs area approximately 5 miles north of Mayhill, NM beginning the first week in November and continuing throughout the fall and winter as conditions allow. Smoke from the prescribed burn is expected to travel northeast towards Roswell but may impact nearby homes.

This summer the country saw the devastating effects of wildfires. Hundreds of thousands of acres burned and poor air quality permeated much of the western United States on and off. Prescribed burns are an important tool used by forest managers to reduce excess fuel loads (i.e. downed logs, branches or pine needles), thus reducing the risk of high severity wildfire in the future by removing fire fuels in a controlled manner.

Prescribed fires are conducted only when specific requirements are met at the location of the fire. With the recent snow and lower temperatures officials identified next week as meeting all the required parameters in the 16 Springs area.  Fire personnel take into consideration the weather, fuel moisture, terrain and if the prescribed burn is likely to result in the desired outcome before they decide to burn. This is referred to as the burn window. Burn windows on the Lincoln National Forest are very short, usually occurring in the fall and early spring.  Prescribed fires are conducted in a controlled environment with experienced fire managers on site carefully implementing the ignition and holding functions on the fire. All fire containment features are established and staffed before ignitions begin.

“We are working towards a healthier forest. Prescribed burning is one of the most cost effective and efficient ways to do that. It’s so important we taken every opportunity to prescribe burn when conditions allow so we can do our best to avoid what other states saw this summer,” explained Lincoln National Forest Fuel Specialist Wes Hall.  

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