Fire managers on the Carson National Forest plan to burn up to 6,000 acres on the east side of the Valle Vidal Unit on the Questa Ranger District sometime between March 26 and April 30, 2018. If conditions are favorable, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and forecasted weather, the burn may likely begin the week of March 26th.
The Loop Road prescribed burn unit is located in Colfax County approximately 14 miles northeast of Questa, New Mexico. Crews will be burning off of Forest Roads 1950, 1910, and 1914. While the burn is being conducted, these roads will be closed for public safety but will reopen after burning has concluded for the day and the roads are deemed safe to travel on.
Firefighters will use a combination of aerial ignition as well as hand ignition techniques to ignite the unit. If conditions are favorable, the burn should take 2-3 days to complete. Some resources will stay on site to monitor conditions during the night.
One of the most important features of the 101,794 acre Valle Vidal unit is wildlife, which includes a trophy elk herd of up to 2,000 head. This project is intended to enhancewildlifehabitand improve timberstandhealthby creating a mosaic burn pattern throughout the landscape.
Smoke may be visible from the following areas: State Highway 522, Costilla, Amalia, Cimarron, Raton and most communities in the Northeast portion of the state. The following communities could be impacted by smoke: Questa, Cimarron, Red River, and possibly Angel Fire depending on the wind.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.
For additional information about the Loop Road prescribed fire, contact the Questa Ranger District at 575-586-0520.