TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – Carson National Forest crews are preparing for a prescribed burn to the south of Tres Piedras, beginning in mid-April if weather conditions allow. The purpose of this Dorado/Cañada del Agua Prescribed Fire is to return the forest to its natural state; it is part of the Rio Chama Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project.

The location of the planned burn is west of U.S. Route 285, east of Las Tablas, and north of Forest Road 578. The roads will be open to the public but may have limited access depending on the needs of the crews.

Dorado/Cañada del Agua Prescribed Fire | Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service

Ignitions are planned to begin on Apr. 17, but the start date may vary based on the weather. A meeting regarding the burns will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Apr. 13. That meeting will be held at the Tres Piedras Ranger Station and will be open to the public.

With the La Niña pattern ending, the area of the prescribed burn is no longer in a drought. This pattern change could lessen the chance of wildfires spreading this spring season.

“The timing of prescribed fires is important to their success,” says Angie Krall, the acting district ranger for the Carson National Forest’s West Zone. “Balance is key. Ignitions that are too early when fuels are damp may not be effective and when applied too late can develop into a high-intensity fire. As of late March, the area is largely covered in snow, but snowmelt is expected soon.”