NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Wilderness Ranger District belonging to Gila National Forest is gearing up for prescribed burns. They’ll last through March, depending on multiple factors.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, prescribed burns will be taking place over the course of the next month.

“Prescribed burning is key in treating landscapes to reduce the risk of destructive wildfire to the American people and the public lands entrusted to Forest Service care,” said Wilderness District Ranger Henry Provencio. “Our land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health, including reducing forest fuels and using prescribed fire on the landscape.” 

Prescribed burns are used to limit the risk of wildfires throughout the state. Factors like weather, fuel conditions, and personnel levels affect the ability to perform the burns, though.

Burn areas include the Old G.O.S. Ranch on the north side of NM Highway 35 and locations through the Highway 35 corridor and near Lake Roberts.

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Authorities said smoke might be seen along the highway as a result of the burns, but they will be monitoring the air quality to comply with laws and regulations.