BLM plans prescribed burn in Chaves and Lincoln counties

Beginning mid-February through the month of April, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to conduct prescribed fire operations northwest of Roswell in eastern Lincoln County and east of Roswell in the Sand Ranch Area of Environmental Concern in Chaves County. Both prescribed fires are in coordination with the New Mexico State Land Office.

The operations are weather dependent and will take several days to complete for each location. Per BLM policy, prescribed burns will not take place when a red flag warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for the area where the burn is planned. During the potential burn period, fire management crews monitor daily weather to decide which date the burn will take place.  During a prescribed burn 15-20 BLM firefighters and personnel monitor the fire until smoke is no longer visible. Smoke from the prescribed fires may be visible from Roswell, Midway, Dexter, Hagerman, Elida, Tatum, Corona, Arabela and nearby communities. Although smoke should not impact highways, signs will be posted along roadways to remind motorists to reduce speed and watch for fire personnel and equipment.   

These prescribed burns will:

  • Decrease the risk from wildfires to natural resources and adjacent property;
  • Improve watershed and habitat conditions;
  • Increase the health, vigor, and competitive ability of the native plant community; and
  • Reduce the threat of non-native and native invasive plant species.

Prior to and during all prescribed fires, fire managers coordinate with the New Mexico Environment Department to ensure all air quality regulations are followed. Smoke sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to check out the following site:

For this prescribed burn, community outreach and coordination have occurred, and will continue with adjacent landowners, range allotment permittees, and county fire cooperators.

The BLM encourages public land users to continue to be careful with fire. To report a wildfire on public land, call Alamogordo Interagency Dispatch at (877) 695-1663. For more information on prescribed burns and the BLM Fire and Hazardous Fuels Reduction Program, contact BLM Fire Management Specialist Dominic Bell at (575) 627-0327.  For updates, go to or follow us on Twitter @nmfireinfo or on Facebook at

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