Ignitions Begin on Willow Piles Prescribed Fire

Carson National Forest fire crews began ignitions on the Willow Piles Prescribed Fire at about 10:15 a.m. Numerous large piles of debris from 500 acres of thinning will continue to be ignited throughout the day and potentially into the weekend if conditions are favorable.

The burn boss conducted an on-site review of all requirements, including wind and crew fatigue, before proceeding. A storm system is moving through the project area bringing with it breezy winds, snow and colder temperatures. The increased winds will ventilate the smoke, lofting and dispersing it, which should minimize impacts downwind south and southeast of the project site, which is located about 10 miles west of Tres Piedras, NM, and near Hopewell Lake (see map).

Once ignitions are complete, the piles will burn down over a two- to three-week period, when smoke will be minimal. Crews will monitor the piles regularly during this time, and will continue to patrol the area until the prescribed fire is declared completely out.

53 inches of snow have fallen in the area so far this season, according to the latest data from National Water and Climate Center. Crewmembers snowmobiled in to the piles and are using snowshoes to move around the area.

Crews ignited piles from 95 acres of forest thinning in 2022. More piles will be addressed in future years as thinning operations continue.

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