Fire managers on the Española Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) plan to implement the previously announced prescribed pile burns in Pacheco Canyon and Hyde Park as early as tomorrow if conditions, including snow pack, fuel moisture levels, air quality, wind direction and weather forecasts, remain favorable.
The pile burns are designed to remove woody debris from the Pacheco Canyon and Hyde Park fuels reduction project areas. The Pacheco Canyon pile burn is off Forest Road 102 east of Tesuque Pueblo, and the Hyde Park pile burn is near Black Canyon Campground off NM State Road 475, the road to the Santa Fe ski basin.
Winter is an optimal time to burn slash piles because snow on the ground keeps the fire from spreading to adjacent vegetation. Generally, pile burns produce less smoke and burn with less intensity than broadcast burns across a larger landscape. Smoke from the pile burns may be visible from Santa Fe, Tesuque, Nambe, Los Alamos and Pojoaque as well as the I-25 and US 285/84 corridors.
Prescribed fire is always managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
The SFNF manages all prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. 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 Española Ranger Station at 505-753-7331.