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Reserve, NM, May 14, 2019—For Immediate Release.  The Reserve Ranger District is planning on igniting 220 acres broadcast burning located on and around the Negrito Firebase Administrative Site compound. The prescribed burn is tentatively scheduled for May 20, 2019 as desired weather and fire conditions permit. The project should be completed within a two to three day period. The Negrito Fire Base Prescribed Burn is a Wildland/Urban Interface Fuel Reduction treatment for the protection of the public, firefighters, property, buildings, and other structures. The prescribed fire will also reduce the risk of wildfire spread to and from the surrounding area. 

Negrito Fire Base is located on the Reserve Ranger District within the Gila National Forest, approximately 43 miles southeast of Reserve following Forest Road 141 to the junction of Forest Road 28. The project area encompasses 220 acres of primarily ponderosa pine stand with grass or needle cast understory. This low intensity burn, which is off Forest Roads 141 and 28, will not affect public travel. Smoke will be visible in the area, and may linger in draws at night and early in the morning.

Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers and 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.  Fire managers consider forecasted weather, fuel moistures and other conditions to determine optimal windows to conduct controlled burns. 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 from the prescribed burn will be monitored to assess potential health impacts and the Forest Service will coordinate with New Mexico Environment Department and Department of Health to issue any needed alerts. 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: https://nmtracking.org/fire.

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website here.

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