Ignitions on the Willow Piles Slated for Thursday

Fire crews are planning to begin the Willow Piles Prescribed Fire on Thu., Feb. 9. The plan was determined after a meeting between fire staff and meteorologists on Tue., Feb. 7. Impacts from any smoke are expected to be moderated due to an incoming weather system. Light winds out of the north and northwest will help ventilate the area by dispersing smoke, however some smoke may linger in areas around the piles.

Fire staff will continue to monitor for any changes in the forecast before planned ignitions on Thursday morning. Once on scene, crews will do one last check on weather before ignitions begin. Conditions will continue to be monitored during ignitions, which will halt if the weather changes adversely.

Ignitions are expected to last two to three days, followed by a two- to three-week period in which the piles will burn down. Crews will monitor the piles regularly during this time, and will continue to patrol the area until declared completely out.

The piles are made of slash created from 500 acres of thinning throughout an area south of Highway 64 between Tres Piedras, NM, and Hopewell Lake. 53 inches of snow have fallen in the area so far this season, according to the latest data from National Water and Climate Center. 95 acres were completed in winter 2022. More acres will be addressed in future years as mechanical thinning is completed.

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