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Prescribed pile burn set for coming weeks

January 15, 2019

Santa Fe residents should expect to see smoke near the municipal watershed starting Wednesday and for the next several weeks as firefighters conduct a prescribed burn of piles of slash.

The prescribed pile burn, which is part of a larger effort to reduce the risk of wildfire in the watershed, will run through Feb. 1.

Greg Gallegos, superintendent of the Santa Fe Fire Department Wildland Division, said firefighters are taking advantage of snowpack conditions.

“We’ll be burning 15 to 20 acres of piles that were made from a fuels reduction project,” he said. “We didn’t have a chance to do this last year because we didn’t have any snow on the ground.”

The area of the prescribed burn is about a mile north of the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary, he said.

The fire department, which is teaming up with the Forest Stewards Guild to conduct the prescribed pile burn, will have 10 to 15 firefighters, if not more, working on the project, Gallegos said.

“We’ll also have a contingency [fire] engine on standby at Station 1 at Fort Marcy,” he said.

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