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Valles Caldera National Preserve Announces Winter Prescribed Burns for 2023-24: A Step Towards Sustainable Forest Management

The Valles Caldera National Preserve, under the stewardship of the National Park Service (NPS), has announced a comprehensive plan for winter prescribed burns spanning from December 2023 through the 2023-24 winter season. 

These burns are a critical component of the preserve’s forest management strategy, aimed at reducing the risk of high-severity wildfires.

Valles Caldera, a 1.25 million-year-old volcanic caldera, is a unique ecological and historical landmark. The preserve’s management of fire, including prescribed burns, plays a pivotal role in maintaining the health of its ponderosa pine and dry mixed-conifer forests.

The primary objective of these prescribed burns is to manage and reduce hazardous fuels, thereby decreasing the potential for future catastrophic wildfires. This proactive approach is grounded in scientific principles and tailored to the preserve’s specific ecological needs, as per the news release by the NPS.

The prescribed burns will target four locations within the park: South Mountain, San Antonio Mountain, Cerro San Luis, and Cerro Pinon, covering a substantial area. These operations are meticulously planned, taking into account various environmental factors.

Residents in and around the Jemez Mountains, including La Cueva, Sierra Los Pinos, and Jemez Springs, may notice smoke from the burns. The NPS has put measures in place to manage smoke and minimize its impact on these communities.

In line with New Mexico state regulations, the NPS is committed to air quality and smoke management. Special attention is given to smoke-sensitive individuals, with resources like the HEPA Filter Loan Program available for those affected.

Each burn is carefully evaluated based on several criteria, including weather conditions and resource availability. The safety of firefighters and the public is paramount in these decisions.

The NPS ensures that the public is well-informed about the burns, issuing notifications 1-3 days prior to each operation. Updates are regularly posted on the park’s website and social media platforms.

These burns are conducted in strict compliance with state air quality regulations, reflecting the NPS’s commitment to responsible environmental stewardship.

The NPS actively engages with the community, providing education about the role of fire in forest ecosystems. This outreach is crucial for garnering public support and understanding of the prescribed burns.

As the NPS continues to adapt and refine its prescribed burn plans, the latest updates and additional information are made available to the public, ensuring transparency and ongoing community involvement in these crucial environmental efforts.

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March 13, 2024 2:25 am

Have you heard about the winter prescribed burns at Valles Caldera National Preserve? These controlled fires aren’t just about reducing wildfire risks. they also help promote biodiversity and rejuvenate ecosystems. Make sure to keep an eye out for updates on the burn schedules to have a safe and enjoyable visit to the preserve this winter!


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Valles Caldera National Preserve Announces Winter Prescribed Burns for 2023-24: A Step Towards Sustainable Forest Management! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/new-mexico/valles-caldera-national-preserve-announces-winter-prescribed-burns-for-2023-24-a-step-towards-sustainable-forest-management/