From Nov. 1-Dec. 31, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Socorro Field Office plans to burn piles of juniper and piñon cuttings in three locations in Catron County, weather permitting.

Details on each location and size are:

  • Alamocita Pile Burn: 135 acres, located east of Pie Town and approximately 10 miles north of Highway 60.
  • Tank Canyon Pile Burn: 215 acres, about 25 miles north of Pie Town and about two miles east of the York Ranch Rd. near the Wild Horse subdivision.
  • Wild Horse Slash Pit: located off of the Wood Camp Rd.

Active ignition will take one to five days, with some smoke visible in the burn areas for up to a week after ignition is completed. Firefighters will monitor the burns until there is no visible smoke.

For public safety, prescribed fire signs will be posted on Highway 60, Highway 12 and county roads near the burn locations. Motorists should know smoke could reduce visibility for brief periods on Highways 60, 12 and York Ranch Road.

Caution is advised when driving in the areas due to presence of fire personnel and equipment along roads.

The piles were created as part of thinning projects to reduce wildfire risk, improve ecosystem health, improve wildlife habitat and help protect local communities from wildfire. The Wild Horse Slash Pit is a cooperative effort with the local community to provide a place for disposal of woody debris from private lands.

Prior to and during all prescribed fires, fire managers coordinate with the New Mexico Environment Department and follow all air quality regulations.

People 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, visit

Contact the Socorro Field Office at (575) 835-0412 with any questions about these projects.

Chieftain Staff Report