SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Forest Service announced Thursday that fire managers at the Santa Fe National Forest are monitoring ground conditions to find potential windows to burn piles of woody debris in several previously thinned areas across the forest. Treatments for forest restoration include thinning and prescribed fires, help to reduce hazardous fuels, improve wildlife habitats, and create healthier, more resilient forests and watersheds.
These burns will only be implemented if conditions – including fuel moisture levels, air quality, and forecasted weather – are favorable for success. The SFNF will also take a risk-informed approach towards the burns with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.
The planned pile burns by district are:
Coyote Ranger District:
- The 96 piles – 80 acres off M HIghway 96 between mile markers 23 and 27. Smoke would be visible along NM Highway 96.
Cuba Ranger District:
- Sanchez piles – 90 acres off Forest Road (FR) 505. Smoke would be visible from NM Highway 112, Llaves, Elvado, and Tierra Amarilla.
- Ojitos piles – 379 acres off FR 531 on the Middle and South Fork Ojitos. Smoke would be visible from M HIghway 126, Rancho de Chaparral, Seven Springs, and Fenton Lake.
Española Ranger District:
- Pacheco Canyon piles – 106 acres south of FR 102 and west of the Vigil Land Grant. Smoke would be visible from US Route 84/285, Tesuque, Rio en Medio, Chupadero, and Pojoaque.
- Hyde Park piles – 200 acres south of NM HIghway 475 and west of Black Canyon Campground. Smoke would be visible from M Highway 475, Hyde State Park, and Santa Fe.
Jemez Ranger District:
- A total of 2,000 acres of slash piles located on Cat Mesa off FR 135, Pino West off FR 10, East Fork off NM Highway 4 and the Jemez Falls/East fork trail, and the San Diego wildland-urban interface (WUI) near Jemez Springs. Smoke would be visible from US Route 550, Cañon, Jemez Pueblo, Jemez Springs, Sierra Los Piños, and La Cueva.
- The half-acre Thompson Ridge slash pit at the end of FR 106, just north of the community of Thompson Ridge. Smoke would be visible from Jemez Springs, Jemez Pueblo, Gilman, La Cueva, Los Alamos, NM Highway 4, and US Route 550.
Pecos/Las Vegas District:
- La Cueva piles – 50 acres north of the community of La Cueva along FR 375. Smoke would be visible from Interstate 25, La Cueva, Glorieta, and Pecos.
- Rowe Mesa slash unit – 100 acres on Rowe Mesa off of FR 324. Smoke would be visible from Interstate 25, Pecos, Rowe, Villanueva, Bernal, San Jose, San Juan, San Isidro, Ilfeld, Glorieta, El Dorado, and La Cueva.