The Bureau of Land Management is planning a prescribed burn at the Dripping Springs Natural Area near Las Cruces on March 6, according to a press release from the organization.
Weather permitting, the burn will be conducted in the morning. Smoke will be highly visible to the City of Las Cruces and the surrounding communities.
The Dripping Springs Trail, which begins at the visitor center and heads up to the historic Van Patten Mountain Camp and meets a portion of Crawford Trail, will be closed to the public for the day. The visitor center site hosts will have information on the remaining trails opened for hiking on that day.
A goal of the prescribed burn in the Dripping Springs Natural Area is to maintain a safety zone for visitors and firefighters in case of future wildfires. The safety zone will also help protect the natural area’s historic structures.
In total, 15 to 20 BLM firefighters and personnel will monitor the prescribed burn. Most of the rapid-burning fuels will be consumed during the initial burning period. Two BLM fire engines will remain on site until the prescribed burn is completely extinguished.
Prescribed burning is one of the most effective tools to control vegetation in areas where wildfires are no longer appropriate. By reducing the volume of vegetation under the specific prescribed conditions, land managers mimic the natural fire cycle, which greatly reduces the dangers and risks associated with unplanned wildfires, the press release said.
For information, call BLM Las Cruces District Fuels Specialist Ricky Cox at 575-525-4467 or BLM Las Cruces District Fire Management Officer Mark Bernal at 575-525-4305.