Las Cruces, NM – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning a prescribed burn at the Dripping Springs Natural Area (Natural Area) near Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Dripping Springs prescribed burn is planned for the morning of March 6, 2014, weather permitting. Smoke will be highly visible to the City of Las Cruces and the surrounding communities. The Dripping Springs Trail, which begins at the Visitor Center and heads up to the historic Van Patten Mountain Camp, and a portion of Crawford Trail, which meets Dripping Springs Trail, will be closed to the public for the day. All other trails in the Natural Area will be opened for hiking. Check with the hosts at the Visitor Center for questions on where you can hike.
In total, 15- 20 BLM firefighters and personnel will monitor the fire. Most of the fuels will be consumed during the initial burning period because of the rapid burn of the fuel type. The prescribed burn will maintain a safety zone for both visitors to the Natural Area and firefighters in the event of an ignition during fire season. It will also protect the historic structures within the Natural Area. Two BLM fire engines will remain on site until the burn is completely extinguished.
Prescribed burning is one of the most effective tools to control vegetation in areas where wildfires are no longer appropriate. By reducing the volume of vegetation under the specific prescribed conditions, land managers mimic the natural fire cycle, which greatly reduces the dangers and risks associated with unplanned wildfires.