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The Forest Stewards Guild and The Nature Conservancy Wildfire Mitigation Project Set to Begin on Monday

SANTA FE, NM – The Santa Fe County Fire Department would like to make constituents aware of an upcoming wildfire mitigation project that will be conducted by The Forest Stewards Guild and The Nature Conservancy beginning Monday, January 15, 2024.

The initiative, which will continue throughout the winter as conditions allow, will utilize snowpack conditions to conduct a prescribed pile burn on Nature Conservancy land on up to 120 acres located east of Santa Fe, NM, in the Aztec Springs Drainage, north of the Randall Davey Audubon Center. 

The project involves controlled burn piles, a vital component of our efforts to maintain a healthy and sustainable forest ecosystem. The Forest Stewards Guild and The Nature Conservancy have put the following precautions in place:

  1. The burn plan was reviewed and amended after Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon.
  2. A qualified burn boss will monitor weather (snow, wind, ventilation) and coordinate local resources.
  3. Snow will limit fire spread outside of piles.
  4. Go/No-Go check list and Test Fire will be conducted to verify conditions.
  5. The number of piles burned and location will tie into current conditions and forecasted weather.
  6. Smoke will be managed by burning on days with ventilation to move smoke up and away from town.
  7. Intensive mop up and patrol will occur continuously until the burn is out.

Smoke may settle into lower elevations and drainages overnight but should lift by mid-morning. Lingering smoke may be present in the days after ignitions are complete.

“In preparation for this project, the Forest Stewards Guild has worked closely with both the Santa Fe City Fire Department and our Wildland team here at the Santa Fe County Fire Department,” said Santa Fe County Fire Chief Jacob Black. “This collaboration ensures that all necessary measures and protocols are in place to conduct these controlled burns safely and effectively. These efforts not only protect our forests but also safeguard our communities and natural resources.”

For more information on this project, please contact Eytan Krasilovsky of the Forest Stewards Guild at (505) 470-0185,