Prescribed Burn Planned This Week (Jan 8, 2020) on the Smokey Bear District

Ruidoso, NM- 1/7/2020 – Fire managers on the Smokey Bear Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest plan to implement the Perk Prescribed Burn as soon as Wednesday, January 8 and throughout the rest of winter. The prescribed burn is located near the Cedar Creek Trail system (aka Trail 92) which is 3-4 miles from Ruidoso. The timing of the burn will be dependent on favorable conditions, including precipitation, fuel moisture levels, air quality, wind direction and weather forecasts.

Crews will be burning piles of woody debris left over from fuel reduction projects. Fuel reduction projects, and subsequent pile burning, lower the risk of high-intensity wildfires. The project area is 343 acres. Prescribed fire is always managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Winter is an optimal time to burn slash piles because the snow on the ground keeps the fire from spreading. Generally, pile burns produce less smoke and burn with less intensity than broadcast burns across a larger landscape. Small blocks may be treated over time to decrease daily smoke volume.

Smoke may be visible from Ruidoso, Alto, Bonito, Ruidoso Downs, Hwy 48, Hwy 37, Hwy 70 and other nearby communities.  Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at

Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at,  and Twitter @LincolnUSForest.

For more information, contact the Smokey Bear Ranger Station at 575-257-4095.