TAOS, NM – Jan. 6, 2022 —Fire managers on the Carson National Forest are preparing to strategically implement prescribed burns across the forest to reduce hazardous fuels in advance of warmer, drier weather.
Prescribed fire is part of a science-based framework for managing forests to reduce the risk of severe wildfire and allow less intense fire to play its natural role in a frequent-fire ecosystem. Fuel treatments, such as prescribed burns, are an effective way to slow wildfires and moderate fire behavior.
The decision to implement a specific prescribed burn depends on multiple conditions and parameters; including the national wildland fire preparedness level and resource availability, fuel moisture levels, air quality, smoke dispersal, and forecast weather and winds. Fire managers consider smoke impacts to communities before making a final decision to implement a prescribed fire.
Each prescribed fire is designed to accomplish specific objectives and is managed with firefighter and public safety as the highest priority.
The projects under consideration between now and the end of May are:
- 80 acres, Tio North pile burn in Tres Piedras, New Mexico.
- 177 acres, Willow pile burn in Tres Piedras, New Mexico.
- 113 acres, El Rito Canyon thinning burn in El Rito, New Mexico.
- 120 acres, Kiowa-San Cristobal slash burn, located south of Forest Road 7 and south of San Cristobal, NM.
Smoke may be visible in surrounding areas during and after ignitions.
The Carson National Forest manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems 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 (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website.