Prescribed burns planned in northern New Mexico

TAOS, NM — Fire managers on the Camino Real Ranger District of the Carson National Forest hope to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and forecasted weather to conduct prescribed burns sometime between February and April.

· East La Jara: This will consist of burning of slash piles west of Taos Pines, two miles northwest of Angel Fire. The unit is 20 acres located off State Highway 64 and State Highway 434.

Smoke may be visible from the following areas: Taos Canyon, Shady Brook, Valle Escondido, State Highway 64, Angel Fire, Eagle Nest, and State Highway 434.

Ojo Sarco: This will consist of burning of slash piles south of Ojo Sarco. The unit is 182 acres located off State Highway 76.

Smoke may be visible from the following areas: Ojo Sarco, State Highway 76, El Valle, and Las Trampas.

The purpose of these burns is to reduce fuels created from previous thinning and associated fuelwood removal activities. This will help reduce the threat of high severity, high intensity wildfire to the public, adjacent private property and natural resources in the Wildland Urban Interface area that surrounds the communities.

Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire- adapted ecosystems. A prescribed fire mimics 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 prescribed burns will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. 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

For additional information about these prescribed burns, contact the Camino Real Ranger District at 575-587-2255.