Mountainair Ranger District Plans Pile Burn starting as early as February 10th

Albuquerque, NM – February 8, 2022 – Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands fire crews are preparing to proceed with pile burning on the Mountainair Ranger District in the vicinity of Red Canyon Campground pending suitable conditions.

The Capilla Project area is located within and adjacent to the Red Canyon Campground accessed by the NM Hwy 131 to FS Road 253. The Capilla Project Area is located approximately 5 miles southwest of the community of Manzano adjacent to the Red Canyon Campground.  The size of this project is 8 acres of dispersed piles. Visitors should avoid the area during prescribed burn operations for their safety, and the safety of the firefighters. See attached project maps.

Winter is an optimal time to burn piled slash and woody debris from earlier forest restoration work 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. Fire personnel will monitor the burn pit until it is completely out.

Smoke may be visible in the surrounding communities of Manzano, Torreon, Punta De Agua, Mountainair and the Estancia Valley. In some areas, smoke may settle into lower elevations overnight due to fluctuating atmospheric temperatures that produce nighttime inversions.

Each prescribed fire is designed to accomplish specific objectives and is managed with firefighter and public safety as the highest priority.

The Cibola NF & NGs 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.

All fire updates will be posted on the Cibola NF & NGs website, New Mexico Fire Information website and on the Cibola Facebook  & Twitter pages.     

Mountainair Ranger District Office: 505-847-2990

Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands Supervisor’s Office: 505-346-3900

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Capilla Piles RX Vicinity Map

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