Prescribed Burning to Resume on Lincoln National Forest

LNFALAMOGORDO, NM – November 1, 2013 – Fire officials on the Lincoln National Forest’s Sacramento and Smokey Bear Districts plan to take advantage of favorable weather conditions as they resume prescribed burning operations during the months of November and December. Fall and winter weather provides an excellent burning environment, however, ignitions are dependent on fuel and weather conditions on the day of the burn, as well as days that follow ignitions. Cool daytime temperatures help moderate fire intensity; good ventilation ensures that smoke will disperse and result in minimal air quality impacts; predicted high winds can cause ignitions to be postponed. 

Two projects on the Sacramento Ranger District that firefighters will focus on are located south and east of Cloudcroft, NM include:

  • Cox Canyon, 162 acres:  slash piles; about 3 miles SE of Cloudcroft
  • Spud Forks Piles, 1200 acres: slash piles; 10 miles E of Cloudcroft near County Road C7 (Dry Canyon).

The projects on the Smokey Bear Ranger District are a part of the ongoing collaborative burn program in which multiple land and fire management agencies work together to accomplish critical Wildland Urban Interface treatments.  Firefighters from Mescalero, Ruidoso Fire Department, and Lincoln County Volunteer Fire Departments may be observed on these projects, along with the Forest Service personnel. These projects include:

  • Section 16, 80 acres: broadcast burning of dry grass and needle cast in the Cedar Creek area, just past the Smokey Bear Ranger Station.  This will include the fitness trail, picnic grounds and group campsites 1-3. (Ignitions are planned for November 12-14, but may be postponed if weather conditions are not favorable).
  • Perk Grindstone, 80 acres: hand-piled slash unit is located on Raven Ridge, behind Smokey Bear Ranger Station; between Cedar Creek and Brady Canyons.  Ignitions will take place when snow is on the ground.
  • Slash piles: One to four large slash piles behind the Smokey Bear Ranger Station and along Cedar Creek road will be burned one pile per day, on good ventilation days when snow is on the ground.

Prescribed fire projects will reduce fuel loads, which can help minimize potential wildfire risks.  Public and firefighter safety are always primary objectives during fire-related activities and missions.

Smoke may be visible during ignitions. Smoke sometimes settles into drainages and lower elevations at night, but usually 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.

The public and media are discouraged from entering into the areas where prescribed burning is taking place, for their own safety and that of the firefighters.  Please direct questions to Loretta Benavidez, Public Affairs Officer at 575-434-7290. Prescribed fire updates are posted at

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