SFNF Pecos/Las Vegas District Plans to Implement Rowe Mesa Prescribed Burn

SANTA FE, NM – Feb. 11, 2021 – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) are planning to take advantage of favorable conditions, including snowpack, fuel moisture levels, air quality, wind direction and weather forecasts, to implement a previously announced prescribed burn on Rowe Mesa on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District starting as early as Monday.

Crews are looking at a window between Feb. 15 and March 31 to treat as much of the 4,455-acre East Rowe Mesa treatment unit as possible based on conditions on the ground. The East Rowe Mesa unit is located east of NM State Road 34 approximately 10 miles south of the village of Pecos.

Crews will use hand and aerial ignitions to reduce the risk of wildfire, recycle nutrients and improve wildlife habitat. Prescribed fire mimics a natural fire regime by using low-intensity fire to improve forest health and restore fire-adapted ecosystems. Prescribed fires are always managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Smoke management is a key part of the planning and implementation of prescribed burns. The SFNF manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke from the Rowe Mesa prescribed burn may impact the communities of Santa Fe, Pecos, Las Vegas, Rowe, Glorieta, La Cueva, North and South San Ysidro, Ilfeld, San Jose, San Juan, Tecolote, Soham, Ribera, Serafina, Bernal and Anton Chico as well as the I-25 corridor, Forest Road 34, County Road 63A and the Pecos National Historical Park.

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 Rowe Mesa prescribed burn, contact the Pecos Ranger Station at 505-757-6121 or the Las Vegas Ranger Station at 505-425-3534.

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