Magdalena Ranger District Plans Baney Prescribed Burn

Fire managers from Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands are planning to conduct the Baney prescribed burn on the Magdalena Ranger District sometime this spring when conditions are favorable.

Aerial and hand ignition will be used to treat up to 5,000 acres in the project area, located on the northwest side of the San Mateo Mountains in Socorro County. The Baney Prescribed burn is designed to remove encroaching conifer trees from historic open meadows and canyon bottoms, increase plant diversity, improve wildlife habitat, and restore the natural fire regime.

Smoke will likely be visible from US Highway 60 and New Mexico 52, west and northwest of Magdalena. Smoke impacts may occur on Forest Roads #476, #473, and #549, particularly in the evening hours when temperatures cool. Smoke will be monitored to assess potential health impacts and the Forest Service will coordinate with New Mexico Environment Department and Department of Health to issue any needed alerts. Additional information can be found at

District Ranger Kim Obele stated, “We are using planned fire as a tool to improve the health of the forest for wildlife, and to protect communities from the effects of unplanned wildfire. When conditions are appropriate, we will implement a plan designed for this specific area that incorporates safety for employees and the public, as well as protections for heritage and other infrastructure."

To learn more about state-wide fire activity, visit New Mexico Fire Information at If you have questions about the Baney prescribed fire, please contact Cindy Wolfe at the Magdalena Ranger District, 575-854-2281 or email: