Published: 1:00 pm, Thu. Sep. 1st, 2016Updated: 8:23 pm
Beginning this month, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be conducting prescribed burn operations approximately 10 miles northeast of Ruidoso in Lincoln County within the Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area.
The Bench Three prescribed fire will be 350 acres of hand piles above the Upper Rio Bonito River. Smoke from the burn may be visible from Capitan, Lincoln, Ruidoso, and other surrounding communities. Signs will be posted along roadways to inform motorists who may potentially be affected by smoke. The BLM urges motorists to use caution by reducing speed and watching for fire personnel and equipment.
These operations are dependent upon weather conditions and will take several days to complete. The purpose of the prescribed burning is to reduce the amount of fuel available to wildfire, decrease the risk of loss to adjacent property, and improve watershed conditions. Other goals are to increase health, vigor, and competitive ability of the native plant community and to reduce the density of exotic, invasive and introduced species. The burn projects will also improve wildlife habitat and contribute to the available nutrients and water cycles by decreasing the amount of decadent vegetation.
The prescribed fire requirements include having the appropriate weather conditions and the required personnel and equipment on hand. The BLM will take measures to reduce the amount of smoke created by the prescribed fire, and will suspend operations early enough in the day to allow smoke to dissipate before nightfall.
The BLM encourages public land users to continue to be careful with fire. To report a wildfire on public land, call the Alamogordo Interagency Dispatch at 1-877-695-1663. For more information on this prescribed burn and the BLM fire and fuels program, contact Nathan Curnutt at 575-627-0311.