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February 2024

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Photo courtesy from Nicole Cardenas Prescribed burn in Valle Vidal

U.S. Forest Service Conducts Prescribed Burn in Questa Ranger District in October

Fire crews conducted a prescribed burn in mid-October. They called the operation the McCrystal Rock Prescribed Burn.

Over the two-day period, crews were able to successfully treat 4,000 acres in the Valle Vidal.
“Treating 4,000 acres in two days is a major accomplishment,” said Questa District Ranger Adam LaDell.

“With weather and conditions changing, we’re going to shift to patrolling and monitoring until the fire is called out.”

Officials say a smaller organization of fire personnel will remain in the area to continue checking the fire by walking the unit boundary, mopping up edges and monitoring any remaining interior burning.

While the area remains open, officials say visitors should take caution when entering a recently burned area. Visitors are also asked to slow down and drive with caution whenever smoke is present, or firefighters and apparatuses are working on or near the roadways.

The McCrystal Rock Unit is part of the larger 21,000-acre Valle Vidal Northeast Prescribed Fire Project. The goal is to improve wildlife habitat by, in part, promoting grassland and meadow growth and health while simultaneously reducing the risk of wildfires.