Prescribed And Pile Burns Planned Mid-October Through February

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Prescribed And Pile Burns Planned Mid-October Through February

SANTA FE, NM – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) plan to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, wind directions, and weather forecasts to initiate a prescribed burns and pile burns in the Española and Jemez Ranger Districts starting as early as Monday, October 15

Española Ranger District

A prescribed burn is scheduled for the Pacheco Canyon unit as early as Monday. The unit is approximately 500 acres, located adjacent to Forest Road (FR) 102, approximately six miles East of Tesuque Pueblo, and three miles west of Ski Santa Fe. 

The Pacheco Project totals approximately 2,200 acres in size and is part of the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition Project area.  A multijurisdictional endeavor, the Fireshed crosses many land management boundaries and focuses on resilience to wildfires within a 107,000 acre landscape.

Smoke will likely be visible from, Santa Fe, Tesuque, Nambe, I-25, US 285/84, Los Alamos, and Pojoaque.  Smoke is expected to flow and settle into low lying areas at night.  Smoke may affect surrounding areas, including but not limited to, Santa Fe, Tesuque, Nambe, and Rio Chupadero.

For more information, contact the Española Ranger Station at (505) 753-7331.

Jemez Ranger District

Pile burns in the Jemez Ranger District could also begin Oct. 15 and continue through February 28, 2019.

The Joaquin piles area is located along the southern edge of Forest Road (FR) 534 and west of FR 376 about six miles west of Jemez Springs.  Smoke may be visible from Cuba, Jemez Springs, San Ysidro, and Highway 4. Weather permitting, crews are expected to treat up to 347 acres of the Joaquin piles.

The Vallecitos piles area is located about three miles northeast of Jemez Springs.  Smoke may be visible from Jemez Springs, San Ysidro, La Cueva, and Highway 4. Weather permitting, crews are expected to treat up to 187 acres of the Vallecitos piles.

For additional information about the Joaquin and Vallecitos piles burns, contact the Jemez Ranger District at (575)829-3535.

Historically, low to moderate intensity wildfires burn through southwest dry conifer forests like the SFNF every seven to fifteen years on average as part of a natural cycle that removes buildup of dead and down trees, and needle cast on the forest floor.  It helps to eradicate disease and thins understory, which makes room for new growth. Prescribed fire is one of the most effective tools available to restore fire-adapted ecosystems like the SFNF by applying low to moderate intensity fire to the landscape under specific conditions within predetermined boundaries.

Smoke/Air Quality: 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’s website at For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to

Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at and on Twitter @SantaFeNF, and