Fire managers on the Camino Real District of the Carson National Forest hope to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and forecasted weather to conduct a prescribed fire sometime between Oct. 15 and Nov. 23 in La Jara Canyon near Palo Flechado Pass, including up to 709 acres in two different areas.
The north unit is adjacent to the community of Taos Pines and Forest Service Road 5. The south unit is located south of State Highway 64 along the A1 spur of the Elliott Barker Trail and extends south to the meadow near Bull Springs. Once ignitions start it may take up to a week to complete the burn.
The plan is to burn the remaining wood to create defensible space near the communities of Taos Pines and Angel Fire, restore forest health, and improve wildlife habitat. These units were thinned in 2014 and subsequently utilized as fuelwood areas.
The public is welcome to participate in a tour of the planned burn area on Saturday, Oct. 14. Meet at Palo Flechado Pass on State Highway 64 at 9:30 a.m. If you would like to participate on the tour and need special accommodations, please contact the Camino Real Ranger District at 575-587-2255 by Oct. 10.
In order to ensure public safety, avoid the part of the Elliott Barker Trail that goes from Apache Pass north to the intersection with the loop trail. Hikers who plan to use the portion of the Elliott Barker Trail that loops around could be impacted by smoke. As an alternative, consider using the trail system around Angel Fire.
Smoke may impact the following areas: State Highway 64, Angel Fire, Taos Pines, Eagle Nest, Taos Canyon, Black Lake, Valle Escondido, and Taos. Smoke from the prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. Ignitions will take place between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to provide adequate time for the smoke to disperse. Patrols will take place during the night to make sure the fire holds within the planned perimeter.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.
For additional information about this prescribed fire, contact the Camino Real Ranger District at 575-587-2255.