Sacramento Ranger District to Conduct Prescribed Fire Operations in November

CLOUDCROFT, NM – November 5, 2012 Fire officials on the Lincoln National Forest Sacramento Ranger District plan to conduct prescribed fire activities on the 331-acre Akers project during the month of November.  The project is located two miles south of the junction of NM State Highways 130 and 24, and two miles north of the community of Weed.  The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has been working with the Forest Service on this project and is providing funding through the Habitat Stamp Program.

Prescribed burning is tentatively scheduled to take place in November. Ignitions will be dependent upon weather conditions on the day(s) of the burn. Fire managers are monitoring conditions closely to ensure that they fall within the ranges that have been identified in the burn plan. Optimal fuel and weather conditions are necessary in order to achieve desired fire effects and good smoke dispersal. On the day of ignitions, advisories and updates will be posted on Jay Northcott, District Fire Management Officer, commented, “The project may be postponed until 2013 if conditions are not favorable this month. We have a specific timeframe that we target and based on the data we have been gathering, the next two or three weeks of this year would be the best time to implement.”

Several objectives identified for this project include:  public and firefighter safety, improving mule deer habitat, and fuel reduction. The project area is a popular site during hunting season. “Burning operations may be underway during hunting season. Hunters and recreationists are encouraged to avoid the area during the ignition phase of the burn,” said Caleb Finch, Assistant Fire Management Officer for the Sacramento Ranger District. “The most anticipated impact is smoke as fire moves through grasses, shrubs and brush. Firefighting hand crews and engines will constantly be moving throughout the area, so foot and vehicle traffic will increase.” Finch added.

Smoke from the burn may be visible from Weed, Sacramento, Mayhill, Piñon, Sunspot, Highway 82, Cloudcroft, and surrounding areas. Smoke generally settles into drainages and lower elevations at night, but dissipates by late-morning, as daytime temperatures increase. In the event that smoke is encountered on travel ways, motorists are advised to reduce travel speeds and turn lights on.

For additional information about prescribed fire projects on the Sacramento Ranger District, please call Jay Northcott or Caleb Finch at 575-682-2551, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. You can also find us at and follow us on Twitter at