CIBOLA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bureau of Land Management is starting the Chain of Craters prescribed fire in Cibola County, weather permitting. The burn will be located southwest of Grants, south of State Highway 53, and west of County Road 42.

The fires will take five to seven days, according to the BLM, but smoke may be visible for several days following the burns. The burn area will be monitored closely to ensure wildfire safety.

Around 2,500 acres are set to be thinned in the burn, consisting of ponderosa pine, pinon, and juniper trees. The BLM says, “The goal is to reduce the density and hazardous accumulations of vegetation that, under the right conditions, could contribute to high-intensity fire.”

BLM states that they have treated over 20,000 acres in the Chain of Craters area over the last several years. Prescribed burns allow the bureau to mitigate the risk of unplanned wildfires spreading uncontrollably.