Smokey Bear Ranger District on the Lincoln National Forest hopes to take advantage of recent monsoonal rains and greening patterns to burn piles using prescribed fire in the Gavilan area beginning the first week in September and throughout the fall, as conditions allow.
Gavilan Prescribed Burn Information
· Schedule: Starting as early as September 3 and ongoing throughout the fall as conditions permit.
Location: Between Gavilan Canyon and Gavilan Ridge from the High School to Eagle Creek Road.
· Smoke: Smoke may be visible in Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Alto Village, and the Hondo Valley. Daytime smoke impacts are possible in Eagle Creek, Gavilan, Homestead Acres, Fawn Ridge, White Mountain Meadows and potentially the Hondo Valley as smoke settles in the evenings.
· Target Daily Acres: No more than 100 acres daily consisting of hand piles slash.
Treatments in the wildland urban interface have been ongoing since 2000. These have mostly consisted of thinning with hand crews and piling the wood. The piles are then burned using prescribed fire in very specific burn “windows”. This window generally occurs in winter with persistent snow or during monsoon season. The lack of persistent snow and the migration of our fire personnel during the late summer to help northern states during their fire season means we have a large backlog of piles to burn.
“Now that the monsoons have set in, we have a good opportunity to make some headway with the backlog of pile burning,” stated Fire Management Officer Anthony Sanchez.
There is a decreased risk of high-severity wildfire in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) that surrounds the community of Ruidoso when trees are thinned, thus reducing fuel loadings. Thinning, piling and burning is one way land managers try to mimic the historical fire conditions in southwest forests. The objectives of our efforts to restore historic conditions are to improve forest health and resiliency, and to enhance wildlife habitat.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico DOH website athttps://nmtracking.org/fire.
Prescribed fire updates will be posted on www.nmfireinfo.com.