NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A prescribed fire called North Joaquin will start soon. It’s planned to take place after Balloon Fiesta finishes up.

Jemez and Cuba Ranger Districts will be affected. The prescribed burn will take place within these boundaries.

  • Western Boundary: Rito La Cueva Springs (FR534 and FR376 HD)
  • Eastern Boundary: FR376
  • North of the prescribed fire: 2012 Tusas prescribed fire
  • South of the prescribed fire: 2018 Venado wildfire area

Prescribed burns are used to reduce juniper encroachment, enhance wildlife forage, increase canopy base heights, and decrease forest floor fuel.

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In a release, the Forest Service said, “Fire-dependent ecosystems in northern New Mexico, need low to moderate-intensity fire to remain in optimal health. Prescribed fires reduce excess amounts of fuels while cycling nutrients back into the soil and enhancing the growth of plants that wildlife depend upon for forage. All new prescribed fires planned and implemented on the SFNF, including the North Joaquin, incorporates the guidance in the Forest Service Chief’s National Prescribed Fire Program Review. This includes using the most recent science and modeling, ensuring contingency resources are more readily available, integrating drought monitoring, increasing patrols, and completing a daily go/no-go evaluation of conditions.”