Prescribed fire will reduce post-logging hazardous fuels

RESERVE, NM, February 23, 2024 – The Gila National Forest, Reserve Ranger District is preparing to use prescribed fire to burn about 100 machine-constructed slash piles in the Sign Camp Canyon and Bull Basin Canyon area over the next month.

“These slash piles are by-products of recent logging activities completed by a local, Catron County logger,” said Acting Reserve District Ranger Bret Ruff. “Logging in the Gila’s ponderosa pine forest is aimed at restoring healthy, more natural forest and watershed conditions, while supporting local economies.”

Prescribed fire is key in treating landscapes to reduce the risk of destructive wildfire to the American people and to the public lands entrusted to Forest Service care. Our land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health, including reducing forest fuels and using prescribed fire on a regular basis to increase the resiliency of fire-adapted forests.

Smoke and firefighter activity will be visible to the public and may impact forest road access. If this occurs, road guards will be in place. Smoke may linger in the valley at night and early in the morning. Signs will be posted in areas where prescribed fires are taking place. The Forest Service coordinates prescribed burning with New Mexico Environment Department and follows smoke management guidelines. Air quality information and health protection measures are posted online at the New Mexico Fire Information website: NM Fire Info | Smoke Management. For more information contact Maribeth Pecotte at 575-388-8211 or .

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