SFNF Plans to Implement Cordovas Pile Burn on Coyote District

SANTA FE, NM – Nov. 1, 2021 – If the Coyote Ranger District receives sufficient snow or moisture on the ground, fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) expect to implement the previously announced Cordovas prescribed pile burn before the end of the year.

Crews will use hand ignitions on the 157-acre treatment area off Forest Road (FR) 103 approximately 2 miles southeast of Gallina and 1 mile west of Mesa Poleo. Roads in the area will remain open, but motorists can expect increased fire-related traffic and are advised to avoid FR 103 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.

Winter is an optimal time to burn slash piles because snow on the ground keeps the fire from spreading to adjacent vegetation. Generally, pile burns produce less smoke and burn with less intensity than broadcast burns across a larger landscape.

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, Capulin, Mesa Poleo and Coyote as well as the State Highway 96 and US Highway 84 corridors.

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 and how to create a clean air space in your home, 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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