NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Silver City Ranger District is preparing for a prescribed burn in the Gila National Forest. Officials are monitoring conditions for the planned 3,400-acre Willow prescribed burn.

Officials say if the conditions are right, the burn could start Monday, March 27. Once the burn starts, officials say they will be conducting the burn for about five days. “It is not expected the entire 3,400-acre project area will be touched by fire, but that a mosaic of burned and unburned areas will result in enhanced wildlife habitat and improved range forage,” Silver City Distric Ranger Elizabeth Toney said in a release.

The Willow prescribed burn area is located about 16 miles southwest of Silver City. Officials say road, trail and areas near the project will be closed during burn operations. Smoke may be visible to people in the area during the prescribed burn.