TAOS, NM — Fire managers on the Carson National Forest have postponed the Loop Road prescribed fire in the Valle Vidal unit of the Questa Ranger District due to high winds and precipitation in the burn area. If conditions change, the burn may take place later this week.
Fire managers were considering a number of factors in determining whether or not it would be safe to burn including wind, temperatures, humidity, fuel moisture levels, precipitation, and available resources. With firefighter and public safety being the first priority, it was decided that the burn could not be conducted successfully with the weather system that came in.
The burn area consists of 6,000 acres on the east side of the Valle Vidal Unit at an elevation of approximately 9,000 feet where conditions are cooler and wetter then other areas of the forest. The area is completely surrounded by Forest Roads 1950, 1910, and 1914 which creates a fire break. To fortify that fire break, vegetation has been removed on the side of the roads.
This project is intended to enhance wildlife habitat and improve timber stand health by creating a mosaic burn pattern throughout the landscape which means not every inch of the 6,000 acres will be treated with fire. A mosaic effect results in some areas of the landscape experiencing a slow surface fire that consumes small trees and litter. Other areas will experience low to moderate fire activity which creates a diverse landscape that is more resistant to disease. A few small areas will encounter high intensity fire that creates openings and kills invasive species.
For additional information about the Loop Road prescribed fire, contact the Questa Ranger District at 575-586-0520.