Prescribed burn, wildland fire training comes to Peñasco in October

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More than 500 acres of ponderosa pine and piñón-juniper forests west of Peñasco will see a prescribed burn throughout October thanks to a collaboration between nonprofits and government agencies to train young wildland firefighters.

The Taos Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, the New Mexico State Land Office, The Nature Conservancy's Fire Learning Network and the Forest Stewards Guild have collectively organized the prescribed fire training exchange, where new firefighters will work alongside highly qualified and experienced firefighters in a hands-on learning environment.

"This burn is a culmination of work that began over ten years ago in collaboration with the State Land Office and the BLM to improve forest health, protect nearby communities from wildfire and protect the Río Trampas Watershed," said Forest Stewards Guild Southwest Director Eytan Krasilovsky in a joint press release.

"We have excellent collaborative restoration partners that are once again coming together to learn and burn together," he said.

"Broadcast burning promotes ecological health in frequent fire forests, reduces hazardous fuels thereby protecting nearby communities and reduces the intensity and size of future wildfires," the release read.

The team will assemble on state trust and BLM lands near Copper Hill beginning Oct. 1. Weather permitting, ignitions will begin in early October.

When trainees are putting fire on the landscape, smoke may be visible. It could settle in the evenings, but should disperse the following day.

More information on smoke and human health can be accessed at nmtracking.org/environ_exposure/fire-and-smoke.

Stay up to date on these efforts by visiting forestguild.org/ControlledBurning. For more information, call (505) 470-0185.

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