Las Cruces, NM – The Bureau of Land Management is planning a couple of prescribed burns within Sierra and Otero Counties in southern New Mexico over the next week. In total, 15-20 BLM firefighters and personnel will monitor the fires. Smoke will be evident in the burn areas and some smoke may remain for a couple of days after the burns depending on weather conditions.
Beginning Tuesday, February 26, through Thursday, February 28, the BLM will concentrate their efforts in the Coyote Canyon/Bent, New Mexico area, approximately 7 miles northeast of Tularosa, New Mexico in Otero County. An anticipated 500 acres of lopped and scattered piñon and juniper slash will be targeted for hand ignition. Smoke from the fire will be visible from Highway 70. The purpose of this burn is to reduce risk of wildfire, and to improve watershed health and wildlife habitat.
Beginning Saturday, March 2, through Monday, March 4, fire personnel will begin hand ignition in the Jornada Basin area in Sierra County, approximately 22 miles southeast of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Ignition will occur on approximately 3,000 acres. This burn is to improve rangeland health and wildlife habitat.
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.
For additional information about this planned burn, please contact Ricky Cox, Fuels Specialist at the BLM’s Las Cruces District Office at 575-525-4467 or Mark Bernal, Fire Management Officer at 575-525-4305.