Wilderness Ranger District continues prescribed burning this week – Projects along New Mexico Highway 35 will reduce hazardous fuels near private lands

MIMBRES, NM, May 3, 2023 – The Gila National Forest, Wilderness Ranger District continues burning this week on the 165-acre Heifer Prescribed Fire project – located adjacent to Gattons Park, and the 1000-acre Gravel Prescribed Fire unit located off the Lincoln Canyon Road (USFS Road 4079-T). The project areas will be signed and posted for public awareness during prescribed fire activities.

“We had an effective prescribed burn on Monday in the Rendezvous project area, which consumed an abundance of dry grasses, shrubs, logs, and slash in a ponderosa pine forest setting,” said Wilderness District Ranger Henry Provencio. “By restoring fire to fire-adapted ecosystems, we are reducing hazardous fuels adjacent to private property and within the wildland urban interface.”

Portions of these prescribed burns will take place along NM State HWY 35. Intermittent delays on Highway 35 should be expected, and coordination with the NM-DOT will take place by district fire management personnel. Access to roads and dispersed camping may be limited in the project areas. If area and road closures are implemented for portions of these prescribed fire projects, separate notifications and posting will be released and posted. Signage will also be posted at access points to all treatment areas.

Smoke may be visible from the communities of Lake Roberts, Mimbres, and San Lorenzo. There will be smoke impacts to NM Highway 35, the Mimbres, and Sapillo drainages, and the community of Mimbres. Smoke will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau’s regulations are met. Smoke-sensitive individuals and those with respiratory or heart-disease should take precautionary measures. Air quality information and health protection measures are posted online by the NM Department of Health at: NM Fire Info | Smoke Management.

For more information contact Maribeth Pecotte at 575-388-8211 or Maribeth.Pecotte@usda.gov.


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