SANTA FE, NM – Feb. 12, 2019 – For Immediate Release – Fire managers on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) plan to conduct a prescribed burn in the La Cueva area 7 miles northwest of the village of Pecos if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather, remain favorable.
Ignitions on the 372-acre La Cueva unit could begin as early as Feb. 14, treating up to 240 acres per day, and will conclude by Feb. 28. Firefighters will use hand ignitions on piles of slash to reduce the risk of wildfire, provide community protection and improve forest health.
Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems like the Santa Fe National Forest. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
Smoke from the La Cueva prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are met. Smoke may impact the communities of La Cueva, Glorieta, Canada De Los Alamos, La Joya, Apache Canyon, Pecos/Upper Pecos Canyon, Rowe and Santa Fe. Smoke may be visible along the I-25 corridor and within the Santa Fe Watershed.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with heart or respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Environment Department’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.
For additional information, please contact the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District offices at 505.425.3534 or 505.757.6121.
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