SFNF Managing Cuervito Fire to Reduce Fuels, Restore Forest Health

SANTA FE, NM – May 12, 2021 – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) are taking advantage of a lightning strike on Mother’s Day to achieve pre-determined resource objectives on about 1,500 acres on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District. Managing the Cuervito Fire will achieve significant benefits on the ground, including safer communities and a healthier forest.

Location: 9 miles east of Pecos and 3 miles southwest of the Barillas Lookout

Start Date:  May 9, 2021

Size:  Approximately 10 acres with the potential for approximately 1,500 acres

Cause:  Lightning

Resources Assigned:  2 engines, 1 dozer, 1 hotshot crew. A Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) will assume command of the Cuervito Fire tomorrow.

Fuels:  Ponderosa pine, piñon-juniper, Douglas fir and oak brush

Operations:  Crews are scouting for containment lines today and prepping the lines in advance of aerial ignitions that will add low-intensity fire to the ground to achieve beneficial outcomes, including reducing hazardous fuels, improving wildlife habitat, recycling soil nutrients and building the trees’ resilience to insects and disease.

Weather:  The forecast for the next week includes scattered showers with relatively light winds and moderate temperatures.

Values at risk:  The Cuervito Fire will be managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority. Values at risk include private property nearby.

Smoke:  Smoke management is a key part of the planning and implementation of managed wildfire. Smoke from the Cuervito Firemay impact the communities of Santa Fe, Pecos, Las Vegas, Rowe, Glorieta, La Cueva, North and South San Ysidro, Ilfeld, San Jose, San Juan, Tecolote, Soham, Ribera, Serafina, Bernal, Anton Chico, Mineral Hill, San Geronimo and Pablo as well as the I-25 corridor and the Pecos National Historical Park.

Safety:  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. Information on the Forest Stewards Guild’s HEPA Filter Loan Program is available here.

Fire updates will be posted on the SFNF website, New Mexico Fire Information website, Inciweb and on the Santa Fe National Forest Facebook page and Twitter @SantafeNF.

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