Crews Postpone Prescribed Fire South of Tres Piedras
Release Date: May 5, 2023
Contact(s): Zach Behrens, 575-758-6303
The Carson National Forest will postpone the Dorado/Cañada del Agua Prescribed Fire after reviewing the latest weather data and forecasts. The official National Weather Service forecast now calls for west winds 20-30 mph with stronger gusts on Sunday with potentially another period of widespread, strong winds next Wednesday.
“The weather was looking very favorable and then it wasn’t, so I'm hitting the pause button,” said District Ranger Angie Krall, who is also the agency administrator for the prescribed fire. “This is exactly why we work with meteorologists to continually reevaluate whether to move forward or not with prescribed fire operations. Safety is paramount.”
The prescribed fire was slated to begin as early as Sunday with ignitions expected to continue for three to five days. Crews would normally push back the first day of ignitions to Monday, but latest forecast information extends the potential for critical winds through Sunday with a new critical wind period possible on Wednesday, making the timeframe unrealistic.
Fire crews need consecutive days to successfully accomplish a broadcast prescribed fire of this size and shape. Day one will be focused on blacklining the 3,318-acre area, which means burning fuels adjacent to the unit’s control lines of mostly roads and rocky terrain. Blacklining reduces heat on holding crews and lessens the chances of fire spotting across the control line.
On day two and beyond, crews would then focus on ignitions within the interior of the unit. If ignitions are split up, new grass and forb growth along the control line would complicate completing the project.
Fire managers and meteorologists will continue to look for future opportunities to complete the Dorado/Cañada del Agua Prescribed Fire, which is located south of Tres Piedras, NM.