Carson National Forest Planning Prescribed Burns near El Rito and Tres Piedras

Taos, NM – October 8, 2021Fire managers on the Carson National Forest are planning to implement prescribed burns near El Rito and Tres Piedras, New Mexico, this fall. These fuels treatments will be implemented in effort to restore and improve forest health.

The Ensenada broadcast burn treats 1,243 acres near El Rito and the Tio Gordito broadcast burn treats 3,319 acres. These burns are planned to occur between October 11 and December 2 only when conditions are favorable for burning.

The decision to implement a specific prescribed burn depends on multiple conditions, including the national wildland fire preparedness level, resource availability, fuel moisture levels, air quality, ventilation, and forecasted weather. During the COVID-19 pandemic, fire managers consider smoke impacts to communities before making a final decision to implement a prescribed fire. Careful planning and implementation actions are exercised to reduce smoke impacts to communities and roadways as much as foreseeably possible.

These prescribed burns are designed to meet specific objectives and will be managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Smoke may be visible from the surrounding areas: Taos, Questa, Tres Piedras, Canon Plaza, Vallecitos, La Madera, Las Tablas, Petaca, Carson, Antonito, Alamosa, Abiquiu and El Rito during and after ignitions are completed. 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.

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.

Fire updates will be posted on the Carson National Forest website, New Mexico Fire Information website and on the Carson National Forest Facebook and Twitter pages.

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