Truth or Consequences, NM, June 25, 2019—The Gila National Forest, Black Range Ranger District began the Indian Peaks Prescribed Fire on Monday, June 24, 2019. The estimated project size is 7,200 acres on National Forest System lands and private property inholdings. The Black Range Ranger District has a long history of burning in the spring and on Monday accomplished 1,150 acres in Unit 3. Fire managers are coordinating with NM Department of Transportation who will implement lane restrictions on NM Hwy 59 from MP16 to MP 23. One lane will be accessible to wildland fire fighters only. Please do not go around the lane closure – a pilot car will navigate for all travelers.

This project area includes portions of Doagy, Adams, Grogan and Corduroy Canyons located northeast of Beaverhead Work Center. Impacted Forest Roads (FR) include FR 1677, FR 665 and FR 231. New Mexico State Highway 59 and 163 may be impacted by smoke and fire personnel traffic to and from the project.

Objectives for the Indian Peaks Prescribed Burn include:

Fire introduced or maintained across 50-80% of the landscape within the next decade.
Reduce natural and activity fuel accumulations.
Introduce and maintain fire back into a fire-dependent ecosystem.

Duration of smoke production is hard to predict, but high-density smoke should dissipate out within one to two days after active ignitions cease. Smoke will settle in drainages and valley bottoms during the evening and early morning hours. There is the possibility for the communities of Winston, Monticello, Dusty, and the Middle Rio Grande Valley to experience smoke impacts. Smoke from the prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. Smoke monitors are set up in Winston in Truth or Consequences; and the forest is working on setting one up at the Beaverhead Administrative Site. Live tracking can be found at https://app.airsis.com/USFS/UnitMap for smoke monitor units USFS1054 and USFS1036. 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 and on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6351/.

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila