Gila National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3005 E. Camino del Bosque
Silver City, NM 88061
Truth or Consequences, NM, June 19, 2019—For Immediate Release. The Black Range Ranger District is prepared and ready to implement the Indian Peaks Prescribed Fire Project, Units 1, 2, 3, weather permitting. The estimated project size is 7,200 acres on National Forest System lands and private property inholdings. The district is closely monitoring onsite fuel conditions and forecasted weather. This project area includes portions of Doagy, Adams, Grogan and Corduroy Canyons located northeast of Beaverhead Work Center. Impacted Forest Roads (FR) include FR 1677, FR 665 and FR 231. New Mexico State Highway 59 and 163 may be impacted by smoke and fire personnel traffic to and from the project.
Objectives for the Indian Peaks Prescribed Burn include:
Fire introduced or maintained across 50-80% of the landscape within the next decade.
Reduce natural and activity fuel accumulations.
Introduce and maintain fire back into a fire-dependent ecosystem.
The project boundaries have been prepared by limbing and brushing existing roads and placing control lines.
Prescribed fires are one of the most efficient tools available to resource managers. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients, and increasing habitat diversity. Prescribed burns are designed to meet specific objectives, including providing community protection and promoting forest health. Prescribed burns are always managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority. There is the possibility to meet objectives firing operations may take place in the early evening hours. This is done to reduce fire behavior.
Duration of smoke production is hard to predict, but high-density smoke should dissipate out within one to two days after active ignitions cease. Smoke will settle in drainages and valley bottoms during the evening and early morning hours. There is the possibility for the communities of Winston, Monticello, Dusty, and the Middle Rio Grande Valley to experience smoke impacts. Smoke from the prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. Smoke monitors are set up in Winston in Truth or Consequences; and the forest is working on setting one up at the Beaverhead Administrative Site. Live tracking can be found at https://app.airsis.com/USFS/UnitMapfor smoke monitor units USFS1054 and USFS1036. Smoke-sensitive individuals and those with respiratory or heart disease should take precautionary measures. Air quality information and health protection measures are posted online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website: https://nmtracking.org/fireand on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6351/.
For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila or join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GilaNForest/or follow us on Twitter @GilaNForest.