RESERVE — The prescribed burning of slash piles on the Reserve Ranger District, Gila National Forest, is progressing well. During the month of January, the district has burned 1,100 acres of piles and will continue to work on the project as weather permits.
Objectives of the burn are to reduce wildfire threat by removing fuels created by Wildland Urban Interface thinning projects and past/ongoing thinning projects. Some broadcast jackpot slash burning may also occur in the area of Sheep Basin, weather conditions permitting. Jackpot burning is burning pockets of fuel, in this case pockets of residual logging slash, grass and needle cast surrounded by snow on the southern aspects.
The following slash pile burns have been completed:
o Gilita Slash Pit: Intersection of FR 28 and FR 142 (Snow Lake turn-off )
o Bear Fire area of 2006 (Snow Lake Road along FR 28 and FR 142, and 4 miles northeast of Snow Lake. Trees burnt by the fire that subsequently died were cut to remove hazardous conditions of falling trees.
o Negrito Fire Base piles: 20 miles southeast of Reserve
o Willow Creek Mesa (FR 28): Created from landing zones from the 2012 Whitewater Baldy Fire
The following slash piles burns are pending or in progress:
o Sheep Basin: Eight miles southeast of the Village of Reserve along both sides of Forest Road (FR) 141; most of the piles have been burned with a few remaining
o Rancho Grande Subdivision: Six miles southwest of Reserve
o S.U. Slash Pit: Between Rancho Grande Subdivision and Reserve along the west side of N.M. State Highway 12 (FR 528)
o Pine Lawn salvage sale piles: Two miles southwest of Rancho Grande Subdivision along U.S. 180
o Biomass demonstration site: Adjacent to N.M. Department of Transportation at intersection of U.S. 180 and N.M. 12
For the next few months, smoke from the pile burning will be visible in areas where the burns are being conducted. Smoke may linger at night and early morning hours but normally decreases significantly as daytime weather prevails.
For more information, call District Fire Management Officer Shilow Norton or Fuels Specialist Pete Delgado, (575) 533-6232.