BLM plan prescribed burn in Chaves County

Roswell, N.M. – Beginning mid-February, the Bureau of Land Management will seek opportunities to conduct prescribed burn operations in two locations within Chaves County. The first location is the 5,280-acre Antelope Unit, located at the Sand Ranch Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The ACEC is approximately 35 miles east of Roswell, north of U.S. Highway 380. The second unit is known as the 8-mile Unit and includes a plan to burn 1,220 acres 20 miles northeast of Roswell, north of U.S. Highway 70, along the Pecos River. 

These operations are weather-dependent and will take several days to complete. Smoke from the burns may be visible from Roswell, Dexter, Elida, and other surrounding communities. Signs will be posted along roadways to inform motorists who may potentially be affected by smoke. Motorists should use caution by reducing speed and watching for fire personnel and equipment.  

The purpose of these prescribed fires is to decrease the amount of fuel available to a wildfire and provide for research opportunities. Further benefits are to enhance vegetation availability and palatability for wildlife and livestock. Other goals are to improve watershed and habitat conditions and reduce the density of exotic, invader and introduced plant species.

Prior to and during all prescribed fires, fire managers will coordinate with the New Mexico Environment Department and follow all air quality regulations. People who are either susceptible to or affected by COVID-19 may have health conditions that also make them vulnerable to smoke exposure. For more information about smoke and protecting your health, please visit

The BLM encourages public land users to continue to be careful with fire. To report a wildfire on public land, please call Alamogordo Interagency Dispatch at 877-695-1663. For more information on this prescribed burn and the BLM fire and hazardous fuels reduction program, please contact Dominic Bell at 575-627-0327. You can also follow the implementation of this project on, on Twitter @nmfireinfo, or

Map showiing locations of two prescribed fires in Chaves County

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.

Follow the BLM on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr @BLMNewMexico


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