Lincoln National Forest: Prescribed Burn near Indian Canyon Scheduled Sept 29, 2021

The Smokey Bear Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest will conduct a prescribed burn near Indian Canyon in the Grindstone area on September 29, 2021. Smoke will be visible in Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs and will likely drift to the east.  

Our firefighters are taking advantage of the heavy monsoonal moisture we were lucky to receive this year to burn approximately 55 acres of leftover piles from past forest thinning projects. These piles are also known as slash piles.

The Indian Canyon prescribed burn will take place between Grindstone Lake and Mescalero Lake.

Why Prescribed Fire is Important to Ruidoso and the Forest

Western American forests are naturally adapted to burn at regular intervals. Many forests depend on recurring wildland fire for their health and resilience, and they have become overgrown and unhealthy due to a century of fire exclusion. The effects of a changing climate contribute to declining forest health; warmer and drier conditions in the American West are causing drought and longer fire seasons. Add the spread of homes and communities into fire-prone landscapes, and we see a risk of catastrophic fire to lives and property. Forest treatments, like prescribed fire, are effective in reducing the risk of catastrophic fire.

In fire-adapted forest types, people can take steps to restore forest health and resilience through low-severity fire itself. Supported by decades of fire ecology research, land managers reduce wildfire risk by mimicking natural processes, including such disturbances as removing fuels and conducting prescribed burns. Research shows that disturbances, like fire, are part of the natural order in America’s native forests and grasslands.

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