SFNF May Implement Mesa Potrero Prescribed Burn on Coyote District

SANTA FE, NM – Oct. 21, 2021 – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) are planning to implement the previously announced Mesa Potrero prescribed burn on the Coyote Ranger District as early as Wednesday, Oct. 27.

Crews will use hand and aerial ignitions on the 492-acre treatment area approximately 7 miles north of the community of Gallina and 14 miles northwest of the Coyote District Office. Forest Road 77 will remain open, but motorists can expect increased fire-related traffic and are advised to find alternates routes to help ensure firefighter and public safety. 

The decision to proceed will depend on multiple factors, including resource availability, fuel moisture levels, air quality, ventilation, and forecasted weather and wind. 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. Each prescribed burn is designed to meet specific objectives.  The Mesa Potrero prescribed burn is designed to remove dead forest fuels, provide community protection and promote forest health. 

The SFNF manages all prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke will likely be visible from the communities of Gallina, Coyote, Youngsville, Regina, Llaves, Lindrith, Ghost Ranch, the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu and possibly Canjilon, Chama, Española and Counselor.

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 by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at https://nmtracking.org/fire. People with health concerns can also call NMDOH at 505-827-0006 for additional information. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://facnm.org/smoke#smokeanchor5.

Fire updates will be posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website and on the Santa Fe National Forest’s Facebook and Twitter pages. For more information, contact the Coyote Ranger District at 575-638-5526.

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