Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) may be able to complete implementation of the previously announced Cordova Unit 1 and Cordova Unit 3 prescribed burns on the Coyote Ranger District as early as this Thursday and Friday, May 6-7.
The decision to proceed with the 260-acre burn, approximately 3 miles southwest of Mesa de Poleo, will depend on favorable conditions, including available resources, fuel moisture levels, air quality, ventilation, wind direction and weather forecasts. Prescribed fires are always managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
The Cordova project is designed to protect communities by reducing the accumulation of hazardous fuels and decreasing the potential for future severe wildfire. Prescribed fire mimics a natural fire regime by using low-intensity fire to recycle nutrients, improve wildlife habitat and promote forest health in a fire-adapted ecosystem.
Smoke management is a key part of the planning and implementation of prescribed burns. The SFNF manages prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke from the Cordova Unit 1 prescribed burn may be visible from Gallina, Coyote, Mesa de Poleo, Youngsville and State Highway 96.
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 can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website. Information on the Forest Stewards Guild’s HEPA Filter Loan Program is available here.
For more information, contact the Coyote Ranger District at 575-638-5526.