Hyde Park, Cat Mesa Pile Burns a Go Today

SANTA FE, NM – Dec. 3, 2020 – After successful test ignitions, crews are proceeding with the previously announced Hyde Park and Cat Mesa pile burns today to reduce the amount of hazardous fuels on the ground.

The recent winter storm that moved through New Mexico helped create optimal conditions to burn slash piles. 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 132-acre Hyde Park pile burn near Black Canyon Campground on the Española Ranger District and the 525-acre Cat Mesa pile burn adjacent to Forest Road 135 approximately 2.5 miles east/northeast of Jemez Springs are both designed to remove woody debris from previously thinned areas and reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire.

The prescribed pile burns will be managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

The SFNF manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke from the Hyde Park pile burn may be visible from Santa Fe, Tesuque, Nambe, Los Alamos and Pojoaque as well as the I-25 and US 285/84 corridors. Smoke from the Cat Mesa pile burn is likely to 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 on the Hyde Park pile burn, contact the Española Ranger District at 505-753-7331. For information on the Cat Mesa pile burn, contact the Jemez Ranger District at 575-829-3535.

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