Pacheco Canyon prescribed burn planned mid-October

SANTA FE, NM – October 2, 2018 – For Immediate Release. Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) plan to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, wind directions, and weather forecasts to initiate a prescribed burn in the Pacheco Canyon area of the Espanola Ranger District starting as early as Monday, October 15.

The unit is approximately 500 acres, located adjacent to Forest Road (FR) 102, approximately six miles East of Tesuque Pueblo, and three miles west of Ski Santa Fe.

Smoke will likely be visible from, Santa Fe, Tesuque, Nambe, I-25, US 285/84, Los Alamos, and Pojoaque. Smoke is expected to flow and settle into low lying areas at night. Smoke may affect surrounding areas, including but not limited to, Santa Fe, Tesuque, Nambe, and Rio Chupadero.

Historically, low to moderate intensity wildfires burn through southwest dry conifer forests like the SFNF every seven to fifteen years on average as part of a natural cycle that removes buildup of dead and down trees, and needle cast on the forest floor. It helps to eradicate disease and thins understory, which makes room for new growth. Prescribed fire is one of the most effective tools available to restore fire-adapted ecosystems like the SFNF by applying low to moderate intensity fire to the landscape under specific conditions within predetermined boundaries.

The Pacheco Project totals approximately 2,200 acres in size and is part of the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition Project area. A multijurisdictional endeavor, the Fireshed crosses many land management boundaries and focuses on resilience to wildfires within a 107,000 acre landscape.

Smoke/Air Quality: 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’s website at For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to

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

For more information, contact the Española Ranger Station at (505) 753-7331.


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