Archive for Fire Info

EMIFPA Fire Info – October 26, 2016 Announcements

by John Helmich, East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association

EM Residents,

The Sandia Ranger District has announced that they are potentially implementing the David Canyon Fuels Reduction Project prescribed burn as early as next week. Presently, planning is to do this prescribed burn next Tuesday, November 1st through Friday, November 4th.

All prescribed burns are only implemented if all burn parameters are approved. These include fuel moisture levels, weather conditions before and during the burn, and air quality conditions. We will keep you updated as we near implementation of the burn.

More information and maps regarding this burn are on the Cibola NF Facebook page, linked here: https://www.facebook.com/cibolanf/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Sulphur Picnic Area Project

by John Helmich, East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association

EM Residents,

We here at EMIFPA feel it is important to relay wildfire related efforts in our region. The following is from Crystal Powell, Sandia Ranger District Ranger, regarding one of the many projects the District is undertaking to make our forest a better neighbor.

The Sulphur project area is located on the Sandia Ranger District of Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands and includes 1,173 acres. The project is being implemented due to high tree density and severe competition have created conditions that compromise forest health, wildlife habitat, and scenic quality while increasing the possibility of high-intensity wildfires.

The Environmental Analysis and Decision Memo were completed and signed in February 2014 and implementation began in the fall of 2015. This project is broken up into two different project areas, Sulphur A and B. Sulphur A includes the developed recreation sites Doc Long, Sulphur Canyon and Cienega Canyon, Sulphur B is everything south of Cienega Canyon. The project was divided to better manage finances and implementation, but all are designed to restore desired conditions, control invasive plants, and manage for sustainable recreation.

Treatments include mechanical (mastication or harvesting equipment) and hand thinning, fuelwood collection, prescribed burning, invasive plant species management, trail rehabilitation and relocation and decommissioning of non-system trails.

Project partners include New Mexico State Forestry, The Nature Conservancy, the Rio Grande Water Fund, New Mexico Forest Industry Association, the Pueblos of Sandia and Santa Ana.

Thank you for your help in getting this information out.

Crystal Powell, District Ranger
United States Forest Service
Cibola National Forest and Grasslands, Sandia Ranger District
505-281-3304 x117

As always, EMIFPA advises all residents to be aware, be prepared, and be self reliant. Fire conditions in our area are presently “high”.  As always, Report It, Don’t Ignore It! If you see or smell smoke, call 911 immediately.

John Helmich
EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site
EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Mountainair and Sandia Ranger Districts Both in Stage II Fire Restrictions

by Donna Nemeth, Public affairs Officer, USDA Forest Service, Cibola National Forest

Albuquerque, NM, July 13, 2016 – Continued hot and dry weather has increased the potential for fires on the Sandia Ranger District, prompting a change to Stage II fire restrictions.  The Mountainair Ranger District remains in Stage II restrictions.  The following are prohibited:

  • Building or maintaining a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove
  • Explosives, fireworks, or any pyrotechnic device
  • Smoking, except in a vehicle or building or an area that has no vegetation such as a parking lot
  • Chainsaws or other equipment powered by a combustion engine
  • Welding or operating a torch with an open flame
  • Using a motor vehicle off of National Forest System roads, except in developed campgrounds and trailheads and areas within 10 feet of the roadway where there is no vegetation
  • Firearms

The Mount Taylor and Magdalena Ranger Districts remain in Stage 1 fire restrictions.  The following are prohibited:

  • Building or maintaining a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove except in developed areas such as campsites or picnic areas where grills are provided
  • Explosives, fireworks, or any pyrotechnic device
  • Smoking, except in a vehicle or building or an area that has no vegetation such as a parking lot
  • Petroleum-fueled stoves, except an area that has no vegetation such as a parking lot

These orders will remain in effect until December 31, 2016, or until rescinded.  Violations of this order are punishable by a fine of $5,000 for individuals, $10,000 for organizations, and/or 6 months of imprisonment.  If you have any questions about the fire restrictions, please contact the Mountainair Ranger District at 505-847-2990 or the Sandia Ranger District at 505-281-3304, or your local Ranger District.

 

EMIFPA Info: Information For Preparedness Planning

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

We have had requests for information on specifically two types of products: spray gel or foam fire retardant, and heat reflective film for windows. The following are links to information regarding these products. We do not recommend any specific product, so this is information intended for you to explore and utilize for your preparedness options. Thanks Dushan for your research on this!

Gels/Retardants

Reflective Window Covering products

  • RadiantGUARD® Ultima-foil Radiant Barrier Foil Insulation (500 square feet roll) U-500-B $94 on Amazon — rating 4.7* — blocks 97%
  • ARMA FOIL – 51″ x 118′ (500 sq ft) — blocks 95% — Amazon rating 4.8* $70 + $15 (S&H) from https://www.energyefficientsolutions.com/ARMAFOIL.asp
  • Super R Diamond Radiant Barrier 1000 sq.ft Perforated $71.50 + $4.50 (S&H) on Amazon — rating 4.9* http://www.enerflexfoil.com/products.aspx
  • Enerflex Radiant Barrier Roll http://www.enerflexfoil.com/products.aspx $136 for 10 rolls (480 sq ft)
  • 500 sqft (4ft x 125ft) of NASA TECH Commercial Grade SOLID Non Perforated, No Tear, Green Energy, Radiant Barrier, Reflective Insulation Attic Foil Roof Attic House Wrap SCIF RIFD — by AES — blocks 97% $60 + $4.50 (S&H) from Amazon

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

EMIFPA Fire Info – November 5, 2015: American Red Cross

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

The American Red Cross, one of the critical agencies who will be responding in case of a wildfire, wanted us to inform everyone that they are also available if your family suffers loss in a structure fire, not just wildfire scenarios.

EMIFPA recommends that you also contact them for purposes of preparedness. This way you will know in advance what is available to you should you need temporary assistance, especially housing. Their national contact number is 800-733-2767.  If you are working on preparedness planning, please make sure you let them know this.

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Prescribed Fire Explained

Submitted by John Helmich, East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association

EM Residents,

The following is a letter written to you from Matt Rau, FMO, Sandia Ranger District. This is an explanation of the prescribed fire process. Since we will possibly be seeing prescribed fire in our area this fall, we hope this explains the process that takes place in ‘putting  fire on the ground’.

Prescribed Fire
At a recent event we held about prescribed fire, a surprising comment was made: “I did not realize how complex the process is to bring prescribed fire into our forest”. We will very soon be conducting prescribed fire operations in the EM, and so we feel it is the perfect time to talk about the process.

?    The process of getting to the point of actually putting fire on the ground is lengthy and has many checks and balances.
?    This process starts with deciding what physical, geographical area(s) are of critical importance
?    The prescribed fire plan must be current.
?    Compliance requirements must be met: smoke/cultural/endangered species impacts, NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) requirements.
?    Risk management and residual risk in place, acceptable (work sheet completed)
?    Will elements of the plan be met? (Preparation work, weather, contingency resources, etc)
?    Media and residents notified?
?    Critical personnel properly briefed?
?    Any circumstances that would stop the plan being put in place?
?    What about contingency actions notification?

Once these pieces have been asked and answered, there is yet another check list the ‘Burn Boss’ (lead agency person responsible for conducting the prescribed burn) must conduct the day of the planned burn. If these items are not met, no burn will take place:

?    Are ALL fire prescription elements met
?    Are ALL smoke management specifications met
?    Has ALL current and projected weather predictions been obtained
?    Are ALL weather elements favorable
?    Are ALL personnel and equipment on hand, operational
?    Are ALL contingency resources on hand and checked
?    Have ALL personnel been briefed properly
?    Have all pre-burn concerns been addressed and completed
?    Have media and residents been notified
?    Are ALL permits and clearances in hand and current
?    Can the burn be carried out per the Prescribed Fire Plan
?    Will the prescribed fire meet the plan’s objectives

Unfortunately, this is a lengthy list. But this demonstrates that we do NOT just decide to go out one day and burn some forest land. This process takes many months and years to develop and implement.  We hope that this information will reassure you that we take extensive precautions when we conduct prescribed fires on the Sandia District.

Sincerely, Matt Rau, FMO, Burn Boss, Sandia Ranger District

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Fall Burning on the Mountainair Ranger District

by Arlene Perea

Mountainair, NM – October 14, 2015: Fire officials on the Mountainair Ranger District are planning to begin fall burning.  The first project planned is the approximately 460 acre Thunderbird Prescribed Burn which was started in June but not completed due to weather conditions and personnel.  Managers have been closely monitoring fuel moistures and have decided that conditions are again conducive to implement a very successful burn.  The planned burn area is located within the Thunderbird Ecosystem Management Project area, east of FR#422, south of FR#253 and north of FR#275.  This area has been previously thinned so fire personnel will now be entering the area to burn excess material left behind after the thinning operation.

The burn date is tentatively planned to begin the week of October 19 but may be conducted at any point within the next month.  Fire managers on the district will be organizing resource and will be closely watching weather patterns and fuel moistures to determine the best time to implement a successful burn.  If ignited, fire management crews will monitor the burn for as long as necessary.

As with most of the burns in the Manzano Mountains, the goal of this project is to improve watershed and wildlife biodiversity, and to help protect private property in the event of a wildfire by reducing fuel loading (amount of fuel available to burn).  Our ecosystem depends on fire to promote new vegetation, enhance habitat and reduce the threat of large fire.  It also improves public and firefighter safety by reducing the accumulated fuels that could otherwise contribute to more intense fire behavior under hotter and drier conditions.

During the prescribed burn, NFS roads directly affected by the burn may be closed to the public.  Signs will be posted in any areas with temporary road closures.  In addition, temporary road signs warning about smoke and activity on the roads will be posted on State Highways 131 and 55 along with Forest Roads #422, #253 and #275.  Smoke may be noticeable throughout any of the local mountain communities and will include the Estancia Valley and the west side of the Manzano Mountains.  Smoke could travel as far north as State Highways 217 and 337 in the Tijeras area depending on conditions.  Fire fighters will make every attempt to burn during times of the day when ventilation is optimal.  Additional fire vehicles will be in the area patrolling and monitoring the roads.  Please drive carefully when on affected roads, as visibility might be lowered due to smoke.

Prescribed Fire General Information – EMIFPA

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

Fall is frequently when prescribed fires are planned and executed in the NFs of NM. We have received updates from several areas that are planning prescribed fires. The Carson NF, Santa Fe NF and the Cibola NF are all planning prescribed burns in their districts. Since these districts are close to our area (and in our area), we will try to keep you updated about these efforts. But if you have not heard from us about what is going on, and see smoke, here are some telephone numbers for you to use seeking information – Carson National Forest: (575) 758-6200; Santa Fe National Forest: (505) 438-5300; and Cibola National Forest: (505) 346-2650.

Talking about prescribed fire, the NM Prescribed Fire Council will be hosting an all day workshop in Capitan, NM on October 29th. You can get more information about this workshop by calling Doug Boykin at 575-405-2387 or Don Kearny at 575-835-9359. You can also go to their information page about this by using this link: http://nmrxfire.nmsu.edu/.

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Press Release: Sandia Ranger District Planning Prescribed Burn

Editor’s note: This was forwarded Friday by John Helmich of the East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association

Tijeras, NM – October 15, 2015: Cibola National Forest fire managers on the Sandia Ranger District are planning to conduct broadcast burning starting on Wednesday, October 21st, weather conditions permitting.

The planned prescribed burn is in David Canyon, which is situated east of Kirtland Air Force Base and west of Raven Court Rd in Tijeras, NM. The crews will burn the understory of approximately 170 acres of Ponderosa pine. Smoke could affect the Raven Court area, State Highway337, and Forest Road 530. There will be a closure to area system trails and Forest Roads during burn operations. The public will be notified when conditions are safe to enter the area.

Broadcast burns involve applying fire across the forest floor. Flames make their way along the surface, consuming accumulated needles, leaves, branches, and logs while recycling nutrients back into the soil. Broadcast burns typically produce the most noticeable smoke. The purpose of this burn is to reduce hazardous fuels and to maintain wildlife habitat.

All prescribed fire activity is dependent on personnel availability, weather – including winds and ventilation, and approval from the NMDEQ (http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/).

Periodic prescribed burns will occur in this area through December as conditions permit.

For more information about the prescribed burn, please contact the Sandia Ranger District at 505-288-2112. Smoke sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at https://nmtracking.org/en/environ_exposure/fire-and-smoke/#xEPHT__fivemile__1329.

For more information, you can visit our website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/cibola or call the Sandia Ranger Station in Tijeras, NM at 505-281-3304.

Follow the conversation at www.facebook.com/cibolanf.

EMIFPA contact information:

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

EMIFPA Fire Info – October 1, 2015: EM Library Community Appreciation Day

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

This one should be on your calendar! The Tijeras Library (EM Library) will hold a “Community Appreciation Day” October 10th (Saturday) from 10 am until 2 pm. They will be holding various programs for the whole family – grade schoolers, teen agers and parents. Check out the various events planned by visiting their web page – http://abclibrary.org/eastmountain.

EMIFPA will be part of this celebration. We will hold a 1/2 hour conversation (10 -10:30 am) about landlord/tenant issues and concerns. This is a very interesting topic, and we hope highly informative. EMIFPA member agency US Forest Service Sandia Ranger District will also be involved. Matt Rau, FMO for the Sandia District, will present a program (12:30 – 1 pm) on prescribed fire, and he will also be touching on USFS prescribed fire plans in the near future on the Sandia District.

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Fire On Sandia Mountain

by John Helmich

There is an active wildfire on Sandia Peak. US Forest Service fire fighting teams are aware and are inbound to the area. The fire is located north of the Crest Highway. At this point we have no more information other than it is small, with winds from the south. We will update you as we receive more information.

This is be a reminder that wildfires can and do occur in our area at this time. Please remain vigilant and prepared. As we say, report it, don’t ignore it.

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

EMIFPA Fire Info – May 28, 2015 – Tijeras Library Meeting

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

It’s your turn to help us!  We want to hear from you! Is there information you want/need about wildfire that we have not helped you with?   Do you have ideas that you believe we should incorporate into our education program or ideas on how we can reach more people?

Come to the May session of the Tijeras Public Library series. The date is May 28, 5:30 – 6:30 pm in the library meeting room. Help us help you!

As always, we encourage you to get involved. Your safety during wildfire and any disaster will be effected by your neighbors and their readiness. Be prepared and help your neighbors become prepared too.

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Red Flag Fire Conditions Today

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

The first “red flag” condition for the season is forecast for our EM region today from 12 noon until 7 pm. The full forecast is here: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=abq&wwa=red%20flag%20warning.

“Red flag” conditions are “short term, temporary warnings indicating the presence of dangerous combinations of temperature, wind, relative humidity, and fuel or drought conditions which can contribute to new fires or rapid spread of existing fires. They can be issued at any Fire Danger level.” Presently, we are at the “Moderate” fire danger level.

Expect high winds, above average temperatures, very low relative humidities. Now is the time to test your preparedness planning. Review the meaning of the various fire danger levels as well as what are the recommended activities during “red flag” conditions.

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Get Ready for Fire Season!

From the East Mountain Fire Protection Association

On March 1, 2014 the East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association (EMIFPA) will hold an all day, multi-topic “Fire in the East Mountains – Are We Ready” training session at the McGrane Safety Center in Tijeras. Representatives from local fire management agencies will deliver presentations and talk individually with attendees to help residents prepare for fire season. The day will start at 10 am and will wrap up approximately 4 pm. Lunch will be provided but attendees are asked to bring water to drink. This program is strictly limited to 46 attendees on a first come-first serve basis. The event is filling up quickly, so make sure you RSVP soon to Sue Hansen-Putze at Sue.Hansen@nm.nacdnet.net or on the EMIFPA web site, www.emifpa.org.

EMIFPA will be holding a silent auction in conjunction with the March 1 training session. EMIFPA is a non-profit organization supported largely by local fundraising. Bring your wallets and get some deals while helping to support wildfire safety in our community. If you have items that you would consider a worthy contribution to the effort, please contact Deb at albuturkey@hotmail.com to make arrangements regarding your item(s).

National Wildfire Awareness Week is March 30th– April 5th

Bernalillo County Green Waste Days April 5-19th

Weather Permitting, Sandia Ranger District Continuing Prescribed Burning Program Tuesday, February 25, 2014

by Karen Takai, Sandia Ranger District

Tijeras NM, February 24, 2014:  The Sandia Ranger District will be continuing with the Hondo prescribed burn program, February 25, 2014 weather permitting. The East Mountain indices are at Moderate in the project area. What that means is that area is still safe for a prescribed burn project. We are carefully watching the weather for tomorrow and will notify you when and if it does happen. Please note the fires you are hearing about are in the Bosque area are one to two indices higher than ours. (Fire Danger Ratings)

There are 10 acres targeted for Tuesday. Prior to ignition, fire managers consider many factors including: fuel moisture levels, current and projected weather forecasts, fire personnel resources available, and air quality. All these factors need to be in alignment in order to carry out a successful and safe prescribed burn treatment.

This project is a continuation of a three year fuels reduction program in on the Sandia Ranger District.  Smoke will be visible from I-40, Hwy.14 North, Frost Rd and the surrounding communities of Cedar Crest and Tijeras. The project is located west of Cedar Crest.

Fire managers make every effort to minimize smoke impacts to the communities while continuing to address the critical need to reduce the risk of severe wildfires around communities.  Tactics are used to keep smoke impacts as minimal as possible including canceling approved burns when conditions aren’t favorable, finding alternative uses for the debris in slash piles, timing daytime ignitions to allow the majority of smoke time to disperse prior to settling overnight. Another strategy is to burn larger sections at a time when conditions are favorable to reduce the overall number of days smoke is in the area. All prescribed burning is coordinated with NM Air Quality Bureau.

Smoke from prescribed fires is considerably less and of a shorter duration than smoke of wildfires which can burn for weeks and even months at a time.  Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are urged to stay indoors with windows and doors closed when possible.

We welcome questions and if there are concerns join me at the district to review our burn program on the district.

 

For additional information contact Sandia Ranger District 505-281-3304