Tio Gordito Prescribed Fire Planned on Tres Piedras Ranger District

Taos, NM—May 13, 2019— Fire managers on the Carson National Forest hope to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and forecasted weather to conduct the Tio Gordito Prescribed Fire on the Tres Piedras Ranger District.

Approximately 1,700 acres will be burned between May 20 and June 15, depending on conditions. The burn area is located approximately 5 miles south of Tres Piedras and 1 mile west of U.S. Highway 285 with Forest Roads 578, 578A and 578G bordering the unit.

The purpose of this prescribed fire is to improve ecosystem health by restoring habitat for wildlife species as well as improving watershed conditions. Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity.

This unit is one of eight prescribed fire units comprising a larger project area totaling 16,997 acres located north, south, and west of Tres Piedras. Most of these units will receive some form of mechanical treatment prior to being burned. Combined treatments will provide for a more fire resilient and fire adapted landscape to reduce the threat of high severity wildfire to nearby communities.

Ground and aerial ignitions will be utilized. Once ignitions have started, the burning is expected to last 2-3 days though smoke may be visible for up to a week after implementation. Smoke may be visible from Tres Piedras, Carson, El Rito, Española, Taos, Questa and Antonito, CO. These communities could possibly be impacted by smoke.

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 Tres Piedras Ranger District at 575-758-8678.