Prescribed Burn in Dripping Springs Natural Area

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning a prescribed burn at the Dripping Springs Natural Area near Las Cruces, N.M. The Dripping Springs prescribed burn is planned for Feb. 15, 2022. Smoke will be highly visible to the City of Las Cruces and the surrounding communities. The Dripping Springs Trail, which begins at the Visitor Center and heads up to the historic Van Patten Mountain Camp, and a portion of Crawford Trail, which meets Dripping Springs Trail, will be closed to the public on the day of the burn. All other trails in the Natural Area will be opened for hiking. Check with the hosts at the Visitor Center for questions on where you can hike.

In total, 15-20 BLM firefighters and personnel will monitor the fire. Most of the fuels will be consumed during the initial burning period because of the rapid burn of the fuel type. The goal of the prescribed burn is to maintain a safety zone for both visitors to the Natural Area and firefighters in the event of an ignition. It will also protect the historic structures within the Natural Area. BLM fire engines will remain on site until the burn is completely extinguished.

Prescribed burning is one of the most effective tools to control vegetation in areas where wildfires are no longer appropriate. By reducing the volume of vegetation under the specific prescribed conditions, land managers mimic the natural fire cycle, which greatly reduces the dangers and risks associated with unplanned wildfires.

Prior to and during all prescribed fires, fire managers coordinate with the New Mexico Environment Department and follow all air quality regulations. People who are either susceptible to or affected by COVID-19 may have health conditions that also make them vulnerable to smoke exposure. For more information about smoke and protecting your health, please visit

For additional information about the prescribed burn, please contact BLM Las Cruces District Fuels Specialist Ricky Cox at 575-525-4467 or BLM Las Cruces District Fire Management Officer Mark Bernal at 575-525-4305. You can also follow the implementation of this project on, on Twitter @nmfireinfo, or on

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