Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) plan to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, wind direction and weather forecasts, to initiate a prescribed burn in Pacheco Canyon on the Española Ranger District as early as Monday, March 18, 2019. Exact dates will be dependent on fuel conditions on site.
The 500-acre unit is adjacent to Forest Road (FR) 102, approximately six miles east of Tesuque Pueblo and three miles west of Ski Santa Fe.
Smoke will likely be visible from Santa Fe, Tesuque, Nambe, Los Alamos and Pojoaque as well as the I-25 and US 285/84 corridors. Smoke is expected to flow and settle into low-lying areas at night and may affect areas near Santa Fe, Tesuque, Nambe and Rio Chupadero.
Historically, low- to moderate-intensity wildfires burn through southwestern dry conifer forests like the SFNF every seven to 15 years as part of a natural cycle that reduces forest fuels, recycles nutrients and increases habitat diversity. Prescribed fire is one of the most effective tools available to restore fire-adapted ecosystems like the SFNF. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
The 2,200-acre Pacheco Canyon project is part of the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed project area. The Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition (GSFFC) is a collaborative effort focused on making the forested areas within a 107,000-acre perimeter surrounding Santa Fe more resilient to wildfire, insects and disease, drought and climate change.
Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://www.santafefireshed.org/hepa- filter-loan-program/.
Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com, www.facebook.com/SantaFeNF and Twitter @SantafeNF.
For more information, contact the Española Ranger Station at (505) 753-7331.