LAS CRUCES, N.M. — On Feb. 9, the Bureau of Land Management, in conjunction with Holloman Air Force Base, is planning a prescribed burn in Socorro County. Personnel will concentrate their efforts on burning the Red Rio Bombing Range, located on White Sands Missile Range and approximately 18 miles west of Carrizozo. An anticipated 300 acres of grassland will be targeted for hand-ignition. Smoke from the fire may be visible from Highways 380 and 54.

Weather permitting, the prescribed burning will be conducted in one day. Depending on weather conditions, smoke may be visible during and possibly days after the burn is conducted.

In total, 15 to 20 BLM firefighters and personnel will monitor the fire. The prescribed burn is being conducted to reduce the risk of wildfire spreading to public lands from the bombing range.

Prescribed burning is one of the most effective tools to control vegetation in areas where wildfires are no longer appropriate. By reducing the volume of vegetation under the specific prescribed conditions, land managers mimic the natural fire cycle, which greatly reduces the dangers and risks associated with unplanned wildfires.

Prior to and during all prescribed fires, fire managers coordinate with the New Mexico Environment Department and follow all air quality regulations. People who are either susceptible to or affected by COVID-19 may have health conditions that also make them vulnerable to smoke exposure. For more information about smoke and protecting your health, please visit

For additional information about the prescribed burn, please contact BLM Las Cruces District Fuels Specialist Ricky Cox at 575-525-4467 or BLM Las Cruces District Fire Management Officer Mark Bernal at 575-525-4305. You can also follow the implementation of this project on, on Twitter @nmfireinfo, or on