Mesitas prescribed burn starts today

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By Special to the Monitor

Fire managers, including 10 firefighters from the City of Santa Fe Fire Department’s Youth Conservation Corps, started ignitions on the Mesitas Prescribed Burn on the Española Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest Wednesday.

On Thursday, fire managers are pre-burning woody material on the ground adjacent to control lines (blacklining), in preparation for aerial ignitions. Aerial ignitions are scheduled to begin later this week. The Mesitas Prescribed Burn was scheduled to begin this Tuesday, however, was postponed due to unfavorable conditions.

Mesitas Prescribed Burn,

Española Ranger District

The Mesitas prescribed burn area is located 6 miles South/Southwest of the town of Abiquiu, (4 miles west on FSR 27 from FSR 31 and 1 mile South of Cerro Pelon).    

During the burning period, approximately 1,700 acres of the 4,000-acre project area will be treated with hand and aerial ignitions.

Smoke from the burn will be visible from U.S. 84/285, Española, and the Española Valley including Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Chili, Hernandez, El Duende, Medanales, Santa Clara Pueblo, Los Alamos, Pojoaque and Santa Fe. Smoke is expected to settle into lower elevations and in drainage areas during the evenings, but should lift by mid-morning.

The objectives for this prescribed burn are to reduce hazardous fuels and to improve range, watershed, wildlife habitat and overall forest health conditions.

Santa Fe Fire

Department’s Youth

Conservation Corps

 Earlier this year the City of Santa Fe Fire Department was awarded $149,437.61 from the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps Commission.

The Fire Department is using these funds to employ 10 wildland firefighters. The wildland fire crew is aiding in suppressing wildland fires within the city, state and throughout the nation.

When the handcrew is not suppressing fires they will remove hazardous and invasive non-native trees along the Santa Fe River as part of the El Parque Del Rio Project.

The Youth Conservation Corps Commission awards grants to eligible applicants that employ youth between the ages of 14 to 25 to conserve New Mexico’s natural resources and provide community benefits of lasting value.

For additional information about the Mesitas prescribed burn, please contact the Española Ranger District at 505-753-7331.

For daily updates regarding planned/ongoing prescribed burns on the Santa Fe National Forest, please call our toll-free (recorded message): 1-877-971-FIRE (3473).