Prescribed fire planned for Las Cienegas National Conservation Area

Project will improve grasslands in the Sonoita Valley

Tucson, Ariz. – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Tucson Field Office and Gila District Fire Management Office will conduct a multiple day prescribed burn on the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA), pending appropriate weather and seasonal conditions, from April through June 2021. The Airstrip Burn will cover approximately 758 acres of BLM land on the LCNCA and is located seven miles north of Sonoita.  
Prescribed fires are intended to mimic natural fire frequency and intensity. They improve the health of the land by stimulating growth of desirable grasses, reducing invasive plants, and managing fuel loads so that natural fires are less destructive.   
The LCNCA contains over 47,000 acres of some of the most biologically rich and ecologically diverse biotic communities in the world. The BLM’s management of the LCNCA brings together private ranchers and federal, state, county, and local agencies to conserve and enhance the ecosystems in the area.  
“The Las Cienegas National Conservation Area has some impressive natural values, and these fire treatments are part of a long-term collaborative conservation efforts to conserve the natural values of the area,” said Tucson Office Manager Jayme Lopez.  
The LCNCA area and roads listed below will be closed from 6 p.m. the day before each burn to 6 a.m. the day after each burn is completed.   
Specific area closure: 

  • Airstrip Group Site-Closed to use 
  • Airstrip Day Use Area- Closed to use 
  • Dispersed Camping- Closed from the junction with the LC-6901 road to the junction of the LC-6905 road. 
  • Empire Gulch Day Use Site-Closed to use 

Specific road closures: 

  • LC-6901- Closed from the junction with the LC-6900 road to the junction of the LC-6905 road. 
  • LC-6902- Closed from the junction with the LC-6901 road to the junction of the LC-6905 road. 
  • LC-6903- The entire road will be closed during prescribed fire operations.  

Fire crews will monitor the burned area during and after all prescribed burns. Prescribed burn information will be available the day of the burn at the Tucson Field Office. For more information, contact Public Affairs Specialist June Lowery, 520-258-7223. 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Gila District Office


June Lowery, Public Affairs Specialist