May 31, 2019
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Rabon

(575) 434-7290
Web: www.fs.fed.us/lincoln
Facebook: www.facebook.com/LincolnNF
Twitter: @LincolnNF
 
Prescribed Burns Planned on the Smokey Bear Ranger District
 
Ruidoso, NM—5/31/2019— The Smokey Bear Ranger District on the Lincoln National Forest hopes to take advantage of unusual green conditions and the forecasted precipitation to burn piles using prescribed fire.
 
The treatments in the wildland urban interface have been on-going since 2000.  These have mostly consisted of thinning with hand crews and piling the wood.  The piles are burned using prescribed fire in a very specific burn “window”. This window generally occurs in winter with persistent snow or during monsoon season. The lack of persistent snow and the migration of our fire personnel during the late summer to help northern states during their fire season means we have a large backlog of piles to burn.
 
“Typically we have very short burn windows on the district, but this year with the rain we’ve been getting every few weeks, we have a unique opportunity to try to make some headway with the backlog of pile burning,” stated District Ranger Jodie Canfield.
 
There is a decreased risk of high-severity wildfire in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) that surrounds the community of Ruidoso when trees are thinned, thus reducing fuel loadings. Thinning, piling and burning using prescribed fire is one way land managers try to mimic the historical fire conditions in southwest forests. The objectives of our efforts to restore historic conditions are to improve forest health and resiliency, and to enhance wildlife habitat.
 
Gavilan Prescribed Burn
  • Schedule:  Ignitions will begin as early as Monday, June 3, 2019, at the north end of the project off Road 120a
  • Location: Between Gavilan Canyon and Gavilan Ridge from the High School to Eagle Creek Road.
  • Smoke: Smoke may be visible in Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Alto Village, and the Hondo Valley. Daytime smoke impacts are possible in Eagle Creek, Gavilan, Homestead Acres, Fawn Ridge, White Mountain Meadows and potentially the Hondo Valley as smoke settles in the evenings.
  • Target Daily Acres: No more than 100 acres daily consisting of hand piles slash.
               
Perk Prescribed Burn
  • Schedule: Throughout June, as conditions allow.
  • Location: Between Perk Canyon and Cedar Creek along the west side of Ruidoso.
  • Smoke: Smoke may be visible in Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Alto Village, Mescalero, and the Hondo Valley. Daytime smoke impacts are possible in Cedar Creek, Musketball, Hwy 48, Swiss Chalet, Alpine Village, Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs and potentially the Hondo Valley as smoke settles in the evenings.
  • Target Daily Acres: No more than 100 acres daily consisting of hand piles slash
 
Grindstone Prescribed Burn
  • Schedule: To Be Determined
  • Location: Southwest corner of Ruidoso between Grindstone and Mescalero Lakes
  • Smoke: Smoke may be visible in Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Alto Village, Mescalero, and the Hondo Valley. Daytime smoke impacts are possible in Grindstone, Carrizo Canyon, Sudderth Drive, Swiss Chalet, Alpine Village, Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs and potentially the Hondo Valley as smoke settles in the evenings.
  • Target Daily Acres: No more than 100 acres daily consisting of hand piles slash
 
Smoke may also be visible from State Highways 48, 220 and 532, US Highways 380 & 70, and the communities of Roswell, Tularosa, and Alamogordo. 
 
“I understand the community’s hesitation when we start putting smoke in the air,” said Public Affairs Officer Laura Rabon. “Hopefully a little smoke now will help ward off the chance of getting a lot of smoke later because of a raging wildfire. We really appreciate everyone’s understanding.”
 
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 DOH website at https://nmtracking.org/fire
 
For prescribed fire updates, visit www.nmfireinfo.com.  For additional information, contact the Lincoln National Forest Public Affairs Officer at 575-434-7290.
 
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“USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.”
Contact:
Laura Rabon, PMP, Public Affairs Officer
575-434-7290