Silver City, NM, March 15, 2019—For Immediate Release. The Gila National Forest, Silver City Ranger District plans to conduct a broadcast burn for late April – June, weather dependent. The project plan is to conduct prescribed burning on approximately 950 acres in the Cameron Creek Unit, located between Trail 243 (Wagon Wheel) and Forest Service Road 4241N. Burning will occur over a two-to-four day period. The fuels in this area include pinyon-juniper and grasslands. The Silver City Ranger District will be holding a public information meeting at a future date to review the prescribed burn. Maps will be available at that meeting and information will be posted at Ft. Bayard trailheads prior to the dates when burning would occur.
Fire managers consider forecasted weather, fuel moistures and other conditions to determine optimal windows to conduct controlled burns.
Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. Prescribed burns are designed to meet specific objectives, including providing community protection and promoting forest health. Prescribed burns are always managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
By adding the right fire to the landscape at the right place at the right time, controlled burns mitigate the risk of high-intensity wildfire, reduce the spread of insects and disease, improve habitat for wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, and promote the growth of healthy trees, wildflowers and other plants.
Smoke will be visible and could impact north of the Fort Bayard area and the Village of Santa Clara, and drift into the drainages of the Mimbres Valley during the early morning and late evening hours. Smoke from the prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. Smoke-sensitive individuals and those with respiratory or heart disease should take precautionary measures. Air quality information and health protection measures are posted online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website here.
For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website here.