NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – It was New Mexico’s biggest wildfire ever at the time. Beginning Tuesday, 33,000 seedlings will be planted in the 2011 Las Conchas burn scar.
A hike through dense brush in the Jemez Mountains will reveal crews hard at work. They are replanting native trees like Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs to the area.
In 2011, the Las Conchas Fire burned 156,000 acres. Then this year, the Cerro Pelado fire burned about 45,605 acres.
Helping the forest heal is a big effort. Each mapped-out plot gets 400 seedlings. Crews are planning to plant around 4,400 seedlings Tuesday and around 33,000 for the year. The seedling planting is an effort to restore the natural beauty of the area to reduce fire risk and protect the watershed.
Officials say the reforestation efforts will happen across the Santa Clara Pueblo, Bandelier National Monument, and the Espanola Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest.