Winter Storms Help Fire Managers Make Progress on Kiowa-San Cristobal Pile Burns

TAOS, NM – Feb. 17, 2021 – Fire managers on the Carson National Forest are taking advantage of favorable conditions today and continuing the previously announced Kiowa-San Cristobal prescribed pile burns. The Kiowa-San Cristobal pile burns located near San Cristobal and Gallina Canyon is designed to remove woody debris from a previously thinned area. As a part of the multi-year Kiowa-San Cristobal project to reduce hazardous fuels and wildfire risk in the community, fire managers plan to complete the remaining 35 acres of the 80-acre pile burns near Cristobal, NM.

The recent winter storms 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. Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. Each prescribed burn is designed to meet specific objectives and will be managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

The Carson National Forest manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke from the Kiowa-San Cristobal pile burn may be visible from Taos, Questa, San Cristobal, Lama, Arroyo Hondo, Gallina, Arroyo Seco, Highway 522 and surrounding areas.

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.

Fire updates will be posted on the Carson National Forest websiteNew Mexico Fire Information website and on the Carson National Forest Facebook page and Twitter @CarsonNF.

For more information on the Kiowa-San Cristobal pile burns, contact the Questa Ranger District at 575- 586-0520.

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