North Hart Canyon Unit in Valle Vidal Added to Spring Prescribed Fire Plans

TAOS, NM – Mar. 24, 2021 — Fire managers on the Carson National Forest have identified an area in North Hart Canyon to implement a broadcast burn this spring. The 920-acre broadcast burn within the Valle Vidal near Cimarron, New Mexico was added to the list of previously announced prescribed fire projects to reduce hazardous fuels before the 2021 wildland fire season. The North Hart Canyon unit will provide an anchor point and reduce fuels at a control line that fire managers can use to implement future prescribed burns in the Valle Vidal.

Prescribed fire is part of a science-based framework for managing ponderosa pine and dry mixed-conifer forests like the Carson National Forest to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire and allow low-intensity fire to play its natural role in a frequent-fire ecosystem. Fuels treatments are an effective way to slow wildfires and change fire behavior.

The decision to implement a specific prescribed burn depends on multiple conditions, including the national wildland fire preparedness level and resource availability, fuel moisture levels, air quality, ventilation, and forecasted weather and winds. During the COVID-19 pandemic, fire managers consider smoke impacts to communities before making a final decision to implement a prescribed fire. Each prescribed burn will be managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

The projects under consideration between now and the end of May are:

  • Approximately 4,967 acres for the Ring unit within the Valle Vidal near Cimarron, New Mexico. The intent is to treat fuels that have accumulated over the last 15 years and reintroduce fire onto the landscape to imitate a more natural fire regime.
  • 920-acre broadcast burn for the North Hart Canyon unit in the Valle Vidal.
  • 1,300 acres for the La Jara unit in Taos Canyon.
  • 140-acre broadcast burn for the Eul unit on Carracas Mesa in the Jicarilla Ranger District.
  • 1-acre pile burn on Cabresto Mesa in the Jicarilla Ranger District.
  • 902 acres for the Mesita broadcast burn in Canjilon, New Mexico.
  • 1,243 acres for the Ensenada broadcast burn in El Rito, New Mexico.
  • 1,893 acres for the Martinez Canyon broadcast burn in Tres Piedras, New Mexico.

Smoke may be visible from the surrounding areas during and after ignitions begin. The Carson National Forest manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. 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 and Twitter pages.

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