SFNF Adds Cat Mesa Pile Burn to the List for Implementation this Week

SANTA FE, NM – Dec. 2, 2020 – Taking the favorable winter weather into consideration, fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) are considering an additional pile burn this week, adding the previously announced Cat Mesa prescribed pile burn on the Jemez Ranger District to the list for implementation if conditions are favorable.   

The 525-acre piled slash unit on Cat Mesa is adjacent to Forest Road 135 approximately 2.5 miles east/northeast of Jemez Springs. Ignitions could begin as early as tomorrow. Fire managers will implement the Cat Mesa pile burn only if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and forecasted weather, are favorable for successful implementation.

Each prescribed burn is designed to meet specific objectives and will be managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Winter is an optimal time to burn slash piles because snow on the ground keeps the fire from spreading to adjacent vegetation. Generally, pile burns produce less smoke and burn with less intensity than broadcast burns across a larger landscape.

The SFNF manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke from the Cat Mesa pile burn likely be visible in Canon, Jemez Pueblo, Jemez Springs, Sierra Los Pinos and La Cueva as well as the U.S. Route 550 corridor.

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 can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website. Information on the Forest Stewards Guild’s HEPA Filter Loan Program is available here.

Fire updates will be posted on the SFNF website, New Mexico Fire Information website and on the Santa Fe National Forest Facebook page and Twitter @SantafeNF.

For more information, contact the Jemez Ranger District at 575-829-3535.

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