Cat Mesa Pile Burns Continue Today

SANTA FE, NM – Dec. 10, 2020 – After a successful test ignition, crews are continuing with the previously announced Cat Mesa pile burns today to reduce the amount of hazardous fuels on the ground.

The winter storm currently moving through New Mexico has created 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 525-acre Cat Mesa pile burn adjacent to Forest Road 135, approximately 2.5 miles east/northeast of Jemez Springs, is 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 Santa Fe National Forest manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. 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 information on the Cat Mesa pile burn, contact the Jemez Ranger District at 575-829-3535.

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