Sandia Ranger District to implement David Canyon prescribed fire

Albuquerque, NM – October 18, 2021 – Pending favorable conditions, fire managers on the Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands (NF & NGs) may implement the previously announced David Canyon prescribed fire (RX) on the Sandia Ranger District as early as Tues, Oct. 19 and continue through Fri., Oct. 22.

Fire crews are looking at burning approximately 459 acres In the David Canyon area, in the Manzanita Mountains. David Canyon is located west of Hwy 337 and West of the Mars Court trailhead. We ask visitors to avoid areas of Pine Flat, Otero Canyon, Tunnel Canyon, Oak Flats and Mars Court trails system. The Cibola NF & NGs manages all prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke may be visible in the surrounding areas of Tijeras, Edgewood, Moriarty and Albuquerque.

Learn more about the David Canyon RX in our 4 part video series starting with:

Part I: Introduction and Overview of the Project Area

Part II: Operations Plan and Smoke

The decision to proceed continues to depend on multiple factors, including resource availability, fuel moisture levels, air quality and forecast weather.  Prescribed burns are designed to meet specific objectives and are always managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems and reducing the risk of high-severity wildfire. Fire managers use prescribed fire to improve forest health, remove hazardous fuels, increase firefighter safety, enhance wildlife habitat, and protect communities and watersheds.

With fire there is smoke, but compared to wildfires, prescribed fires are shorter in duration and are conducted under weather conditions to minimize the impact of smoke on the public. Fire crews use tactics such as starting early in the day and ending ignitions early in the afternoon to allow for the most ventilation possible throughout the burn and dividing blocks into smaller units to minimize smoke impacts as much as possible. However, smoke may be visible periodically from local communities and the surrounding areas for the duration of the project until the burning vegetation is out. 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.

All fire updates will be posted on the Cibola NF & NGs website, New Mexico Fire Information website and on the Cibola Facebook & Twitter pages. For more information on the David Canyon prescribed fire, contact the Sandia Ranger District Office at 505-281-3304 or Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands Supervisor’s Office: 505-346-3900

The Forest Service mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

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