Magdalena Ranger District – San Mateo Mountains – Socorro County, NM
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Nov. 14, 2022 – Pending favorable conditions, fire managers on the Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands (NF & NGs) plan to implement the previously announced Durfee Bolander Unit 7 prescribed fire on the Magdalena Ranger District as early as Tuesday, Nov. 15 and possibly continue thru Sunday Nov. 20.
The project area is located within San Mateo Mountains, Socorro County, NM on Unit 7 in the vicinity of Durfee and Bolander canyon, along FSR 220 and 220X. The projected prescribed fire acreage has been reduced from previously announced after careful evaluation of the current and expected weather conditions to approximately 270 acres within the project area for broadcast burning of grass, pinyon juniper and pine. See map reference.
Ignition start will depend upon agency administrator approval and conditions within the ranges outlined in burn plans. Optimal conditions will result in effective smoke ventilation and dispersal and help achieve the desired effects needed to accomplish the burn plan objectives.
Prescribed fires are utilized to remove hazardous fuels, return nutrients to the soil and improve forest health. Fuels specialists write prescribed burn plans that identify – or prescribe – the best conditions under which trees and other plants will burn to get the best results safely. Burn plans consider temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation and conditions for dispersal smoke.
With fire there is smoke, but firefighters take measures to reduce smoke impacts as much as possible. Fire crews use tactics such as starting early in the day and ending ignitions early in the afternoon to allow for the most ventilation possible throughout the burn and dividing blocks into smaller units to minimize smoke impacts as much as possible. However, smoke may be visible periodically from the communities of Magdalena, Alamo and Datil for the duration of the project until the burning vegetation is out. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website.
Our land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health and that strategy includes reducing forest fuels and using prescribed fire on the landscape. A healthy forest is a resilient forest that undergoes fire occurrences on a regular basis. After this prescribed fire is completed, if a future wildfire reaches this area, the fire behavior will likely be modified to a less intense, more manageable surface fire due to the absence of accumulated debris and ladder fuels.
For more information on the Durfee Bolander Unit 7 prescribed fire project, contact:
Magdalena Ranger District Office: 575-854-2281 or
Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands Supervisor’s Office: 505-346-3900
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