SFNF Jemez District Continues Pile Burns to Reduce Fuels

SANTA FE, NM – Jan. 5, 2021 – After completing the Thompson Ridge, Cat Mesa and Hillside prescribed pile burns, fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) plan to take advantage of favorable conditions, including snowpack, fuel moisture levels, air quality, wind direction and weather forecasts, to implement additional pile burns on the Jemez Ranger District starting as early as tomorrow.

The slash pile units, totaling approximately 1,400 acres, are located in:

  • Pino West off of Forest Road 10
  • East Fork near NM Highway 4 (NM 4) and the Jemez Falls/East Fork trail
  • San Diego wildland-urban interface (WUI) near Jemez Springs.

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.

Some of the slash piles along the East Fork of the Jemez River near Jemez Falls Campground are within 500 feet of NM 4. Electronic roadside message boards will urge drivers to use caution between the Las Conchas Trailhead (mile marker 36.5) and Jemez Falls Campground (mile marker 31.5).  Additional warnings will be posted on the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s www.nmroads.com website.

The SFNF manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke will likely be visible from US Route 550, Canon, Jemez Pueblo, Jemez Springs, Sierra Los Pinos, La Cueva and San Diego Canyon.

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.

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

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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