White Fire Emergency Rehab & Response Effort

June 9, 2011 – Treatments and activities to lessen the impacts of monsoonal rainfall on homes, businesses and property due to the White Fire will begin soon. Each partner in this cooperative effort has been planning appropriate actions for their respective jurisdictions. The goal is to complete treatments and activities prior to the onset of monsoon season.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Lincoln County, the City of Ruidoso Downs and the NM Department of Transportation are working together in acquiring and placing cement jersey barriers to reduce the affects of water flow and runoff to private property, as well as providing sand bags and technical assistance to help landowners and residents protect their own property.

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) will soon begin aerial application of grass seed on moderately and severely burned Federal lands within the fire area. A covering of straw mulch will then be spread over seeded areas to protect the seeds, retain moisture and encourage germination. This combination of grass seed and straw mulch has proven to be very successful in re-establishing ground cover, stabilizing the soil, slowing runoff and reducing erosion.

Other USFS burned area treatments include restoring and cleaning earthen tanks to hold runoff, installing check dams and erosion control structures, felling hazard trees, restoring Forest roads, and protecting cultural heritage sites. Although all USFS treatments will occur exclusively on Lincoln National Forest lands, these activities are intended and expected to positively influence adjacent private and government-owned lands.

As part of this effort, it is imperative that landowners, business owners and residents take their own measures well in advance to protect themselves, their animals and their property.

More information will follow on all activities as they are taking place. Media Days will be scheduled soon for USFS aerial operations.

CLOSURES: A Forest Closure Order is in effect for all roads and lands within the boundaries of the Lincoln National Forest due to the extreme fire conditions. A separate Closure Order has also been issued for all lands within the White Fire area to ensure public safety.

One Comment

  1. Comment by Mark from Ft. Worth:

    I suspect the forest closure order will be lifted when the rains begin? Perhaps August?
     We love to come up there and camp . I dont know much about National Forest Closures.