SANTA FE, NM – Nov. 1, 2019 – Fire managers on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) are working with local communities to reduce the risk of wildfire by planning a prescribed burn at the Thompson Ridge slash pit this winter.
The half-acre slash pit, located at the end of Forest Road 106 just north of the community of Thompson Ridge and ten miles north of Jemez Springs, is a collaborative effort between the Jemez Ranger District and the surrounding area to promote fire-adapted communities in the wildland-urban interface (WUI).
WUI refers to the transition zone between natural areas and human development. As more homes are built in the WUI adjacent to public lands that are naturally prone to wildfire, the risk to property is high. The slash pit gives local residents a centralized location to discard fuels, such as leaves, pine needles, grass and other yard trimmings, removed from their properties. Slash up to 8 inches in diameter is accepted.
Fire managers would like to complete the slash pit burn between November 2019 and February 2020, but that window is dependent on favorable conditions, including snow pack, fuel moisture levels, air quality, weather forecasts and available resources. Ignitions are expected to last one day.
The SFNF manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke will likely be visible from Jemez Springs, the Pueblo of Jemez, Gilman, La Cueva, Los Alamos, NM State Road 4 and U.S. Route 550.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at https://nmtracking.org/fire. People with health concerns can also call NMDOH at 505-827-0006 for additional information. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://facnm.org/smoke#smokeanchor5.
For more information, contact the Jemez Ranger Station at 575-829-3535.