Lincoln National Forest Plans Two Prescribed Burns Near South Fork Campground and in the Cedar Creek Area This Week

RUIDOSO, NM – Mar. 23, 2021 — The Smokey Bear Ranger District on the Lincoln National Forest plans to conduct two prescribed burns starting as early as tomorrow, Wednesday, March 24 and continuing through the week as conditions allow. Crews will be burning piles in the Cedar Creek area behind the district office in Ruidoso and will also target the South Fork Campground. The prescribed fire will remove the accumulation of pine needles and pinecones on the forest floor (aka needle cast) ahead of opening the campground for the spring and summer recreation season.

Fire crews will be on scene from the beginning of ignitions until there is no longer a threat of escape from the project boundaries.

Prescribed burning provides many benefits and is essential to maintaining healthy forest ecosystems. It provides habitat diversity, recycles plant nutrients into the soil, and encourages new growth for various plants which improves forage for animals. Prescribed burning also reduces the threat of large-scale wildfire impacts by removing excess wood on the forest floor and removes ladder fuels which can cause wildfires to climb to the tops of trees.

Smoke may be visible in Ruidoso and near Angus, Alto, the Bonito Lake area and along Hwy 170.  Although smoke from prescribed fire can still be a nuisance, it is usually for a shorter time and considerably less smoke than wildfires produce.

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