Fire managers on the Magdalena and Mt. Taylor Ranger Districts of the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands plan to continue prescribed fire operations through the spring as conditions allow.

Currently, fire managers are preparing to broadcast burn as early as May 5 on the following:

Magdalena Ranger District: Durfee Bolander RX Fire: 2,151 acres on Unit 7 & 8 in the vicinity of Durfee and Bolander Canyon along FSR 476, FSR 220, 661A and 220X. Smoke may be visible from the communities of Magdalena, Alamo and Datil.

Magdalena Ranger District: Corn Canyon RX Fire: 1,890 acres of Unit 2A in the vicinity of Corn Canyon along FSR 225. Smoke will be visible from the communities of Monticello, Truth or Consequences, Socorro and traffic along I-25.

Mount Taylor Ranger District: Redondo RX Fire – Copperton/Sawyer Blocks: 1,812 acres on the Copperton and 705 acres on the Sawyer units located 3 miles west of Post Office Flats on Forest Road (FR) 480 in the Zuni Mountains. Smoke may be visible in the surrounding area of Ramah, Gallup, Thoreau, Bluewater, Grants and Millan.

Exact ignition dates will depend upon agency administrator approval and conditions within the ranges outlined in the prescribed fire plan. Optimal conditions will result in effective smoke ventilation and dispersal and help achieve the desired effects needed to accomplish the burn plan objectives.

The land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health, including reducing forest fuels and using prescribed fire on the landscape. Prescribed fires are intended to reduce hazardous fuels that have accumulated due to drought, climate change, insects and disease, and decades of fire suppression.

With fire there is smoke, but firefighters take measures to reduce smoke impacts as much as possible. Fire crews use tactics such as starting early in the day and ending ignitions early in the afternoon to allow for the most ventilation possible throughout the burn. Smoke may settle into drainages and lower elevations at night, but is expected to dissipate by late morning, as daytime temperatures increase. Motorists are advised to reduce travel speeds and turn lights on if smoke is encountered on roads. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the

Implementation announcements and updates on prescribed fire projects will be posted on InciWeb, New Mexico Fire Information and on the Cibola NF & NGs website, Cibola Facebook and Cibola Twitter sites.

Chieftain Staff Report