Crews to Move Forward with Prescribed Fire South of Tres Piedras 

The Carson National Forest is planning to begin ignitions on the Dorado/Cañada del Agua Prescribed Fire as early as Sun., May 7. Firing operations on the 3,318-acre broadcast fire to the south of Tres Piedras, NM, are expected to last three to five days and may produce visible smoke from afar. Please do not call 911. 

“I am very sensitive to the timing of this project during the spring season and am proceeding with caution,” said District Ranger Angie Krall, who is the agency administrator for this prescribed fire. “This project is critical to the long-term health of the forest, but I also have no problem postponing ignitions if the weather changes adversely.” 

Fire crews are timing ignitions after the current dry, windy period that will extend through Saturday and during a diminishing wind trend early next week.  Some long-range forecast charts indicate at least a small chance of precipitation mid to late next week. 

There is currently no Red Flag Warning or Fire Weather Watch forecast for the prescribed fire site, which is located in the North Central Mountains Fire Weather Zone. However, the forecast in the neighboring Upper Rio Grande Valley Fire Weather Zone, immediately east of the project site, calls for a Red Flag Warning on Friday and Fire Weather Watch on Saturday. 

A meteorologist will be on site working with fire management personnel to continually monitor weather. 

Smoke dispersal is forecasted to be excellent on Sunday and Monday with very good ventilation on Tuesday. Two smoke monitors will be deployed in adjacent communities. 

The purpose of the 3,318-acre Dorado/Cañada del Agua Prescribed Fire, which is within the Rio Chama Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project boundaries, is to return the ponderosa forest setting to a condition that more closely resembles its natural state, where frequent and low intensity surface fires burn ground fuels and small trees while maintaining an open stand of larger trees. Ponderosa pine forests historically burned every five to 25 years, but after a century of aggressive fire suppression, their structure has changed and are prone to burning with higher temperatures and intensities. 

Treating the landscape in the spring ecologically mimics historical fire behavior. Most fires would naturally have started during pre-monsoon seasons and burned through the summer until rains put them out. Spring burning helps give plant and tree species the best opportunity to bounce back after a disturbance. 

For updates on the prescribed fire, go to InciWeb at or check Carson National Forest social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter at @CarsonNF. 

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