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Prescribed burns near Capitan planned soon


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Some areas within miles of Capitan will be part of a prescribed burn program to occur in coming weeks.

Beginning in late January and continuing through March 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will conduct prescribed burns within the Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area. Five prescribed fire units with the conservation are located about 10 miles northeast of Ruidoso and five miles southeast of Capitan in Lincoln County.

The units include the following areas.

• The Benches Unit: 254 acres, located above the Rio Bonito River to the north;

• West Mesa Unit: 223 acres, located five miles southwest of the junction of State Road 220 and U.S. 380.

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• South Mesa Unit: 300 acres, located west of Sierra Blanca Regional Airport;

• South Runway Unit: 118 acres, located south of Sierra Blanca Regional Airport; and

• Camp Sierra Blanca Unit: 163 acres, located three miles southwest of the junction of State Road 220 and U.S. 380.

These operations are dependent upon weather conditions and will take several days to complete.

Smoke from the burns could be visible from Capitan, Lincoln, Ruidoso and other surrounding communities. Signs will be posted along roadways to inform motorists. Motorists should reduce speed in these areas and watch for fire personnel and equipment.

BLM indicates that prescribed burns programs are intended to reduce wildfire risks, improve watershed conditions, increase the viability of native plant species and improve wildlife habitats.

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