BLM plans prescribed fire in Catron County

SOCORRO, N.M. – Beginning November 15, and continuing through the end of 2020, the Bureau of Land Management Socorro Field Office plans to burn piles of juniper and piñon cuttings in three locations in Catron County, weather permitting. 

Details on each location and size are as follows:

  • Pie Town Pile Burn - 196 acres, located one mile west of Pie Town and immediately north of Highway 60.
  • Datil Pile Burn - 30 acres, located in the Datil Well Recreation Area approximately 3/4 mile west of the junction of Highway 60 and Highway 12.

Active ignition will take 1-5 days, with some smoke visible in the burn areas for up to a week after ignition operations are completed. Firefighters will monitor the burns until there is no visible smoke. To alert motorists on burn days, prescribed fire signs will be posted on Highway 60, Highway 12 and county roads near the burn locations. Motorists should be aware that smoke from the fires could reduce visibility for brief periods of time on Highway 60 and Highway 12. In addition, firefighters will be working adjacent to Highway 60, so caution is advised when driving through the areas during the burns. 

The piles were created as part of thinning projects to reduce wildfire risk, improve ecosystem health, improve wildlife habitat and help protect local communities from wildfire.

Prior to and during all prescribed fires, fire managers coordinate with the New Mexico Environment Department and follow all air quality regulations. People who are either susceptible to or affected by COVID-19 may have health conditions that also make them vulnerable to smoke exposure. For more information about smoke and protecting your health, please visit

For more information, please call the Socorro Field Office at (575) 835-0412 with any questions about these projects. For information about this, and other prescribed burn operations, as well as wildland fire updates please visit  You can also follow implementation of these projects on, on Twitter @nmfireinfo or on

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.

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Bureau of Land Management


Rio Puerco Field Office


Jamie Garcia