Pile Burns Planned Behind Forest Service District Office in Ruidoso Friday

Firefighters ignited slash piles in Indian Canyon Feb 18, 2021 as part of the prescribed burns scheduled this winter and spring.

RUIDOSO, NM – Feb. 18, 2021 — The Smokey Bear Ranger District on the Lincoln National Forest will be burning piles tomorrow, Friday, February 19, 2021 and throughout the next weeks on Forest Service land behind the district office near Mechem Dr. and Cedar Creek Dr.  Smoke will be visible in Ruidoso. Please use caution when driving in smoky conditions. Although smoke from prescribed fire can still be a nuisance, it is usually for a shorter time and considerably less smoke than wildfires produce.

Crews are taking advantage of the recent weather to reduce hazardous fuels before the onset of the 2021 wildland fire season. Winter is an ideal time to prescribe burn because snow and low temperatures prevent the fires from spreading into unwanted areas.

“Prescribed burn windows are limited on the Lincoln National Forest and so it’s important we take advantage when we can,” said Public Affairs Officer Laura Rabon. “This snow has provided us with a great opportunity and our firefighters have been able to make excellent progress reducing fuels on 220 acres in the past two weeks alone.”  

Prescribed burning is one of the most effective ways to reduces the threat of large-scale wildfire impacts by removing excess wood on the forest floor and ladder fuels which can cause wildfires to climb to the tops of trees. Each prescribed burn is designed to meet specific objectives and will be managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Forest fire managers plan to target the following areas for broadcast and pile burning as conditions allow through the remainder of winter and spring.

  • Slash Piles near Mechem Dr. and Cedar Creek Dr (on Forest Service lands only) on the Smokey Bear Ranger District
  • Indian Canyon/Grindstone Area on the Smokey Bear Ranger District
  • Grindstone Area on the Smokey Bear Ranger District
  • Perk Canyon Area on the Smokey Bear Ranger District
  • South Fork Campground on the Smokey Bear Ranger District
  • 16 Springs Area on the Sacramento Ranger District

For information on prescribed fires and wildfires visit:

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