Magdalena Ranger District to implement prescribed fire operations on Baney Unit 3C starting as early as January 27th

Albuquerque, NM – January 24, 2022 – Pending favorable conditions, fire managers on the Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands (NF & NGs) may implement previously announced prescribed fire on Unit 3C of the Baney Prescribed Fire (RX) on the Magdalena Ranger District as early as Thurs., January 27 and possibly continue thru Sun., January 30 if necessary.

Fire crews are looking at burning up to 290 acres on the Baney unit 3C in the northwestern part of the San Mateo Mountains approximately 25 miles southwest of Magdalena, NM. The Baney Unit is located along and west of FSR 549 in Township 06 South Range 08 West Sections 12 and 13 as well as Township 06 South Range 07 West sections 7 and 18.

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 from the surrounding areas of Magdalena, Alamo and Datil.

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 NF & NGs Facebook & Twitter pages. For more information on the Baney prescribed fire, contact the Magdalena Ranger District Office: 575-854-2281 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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