Sandia Ranger District Sulphur Canyon Prescribed Fire

Pile burning operations continue

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – February 1, 2023 – Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands fire crews are continuing prescribed fire operations today on the Sulphur unit of the Sandia Ranger District.

The pile burn area is located in the Sandia east mountains, north of I-40, west of NM-14 and south of NM-536. Smoke may be visible from Albuquerque, Tijeras and Edgewood. See map attached.

Yesterday’s prescribe fire operation achieved 10.5 acres of pile burning within the 100 acres of piles of Sulphur unit under the Sandia Piles Rx plan.

Ignition start is dependent on agency administrator approval and conditions within the ranges outlined in burn plan. Optimal conditions will result in effective smoke ventilation and dispersal and help achieve the desired effects needed to accomplish the burn plan objectives. Pending suitable conditions, winter is an optimal time to burn piled slash and woody debris from earlier forest restoration work since snow on the ground keeps fire from spreading to adjacent vegetation.

Prescribed fires are utilized to remove hazardous fuels, return nutrients to the soil and improve forest health. Fuels specialists write prescribed burn plans that identify – or prescribe – the best conditions under which trees and other plants will burn to safely optimize results. Burn plans consider temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation and optimal conditions for smoke dispersal.

Generally, pile burns produce less smoke and burn with less intensity than broadcast burns across a larger landscape. Fire personnel will monitor the burn perimeter until it is completely out. Smoke may be visible periodically from local communities for the duration of the project until the burning vegetation is out. However, firefighters take measures to reduce smoke impacts as much as possible. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the

Announcements and updates on prescribed fire projects will be posted on InciWeb, New Mexico Fire Information and on the Cibola NF & NGs website, Cibola Facebook and Cibola Twitter sites.

Sandia Ranger District Office: 505-281-3304

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

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