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Bitter Lake to conduct prescribed burns

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Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge plans to implement prescribed fire projects on the refuge east of Roswell, beginning approximately Jan. 7 and lasting through February, weather permitting.

Approximately 350 acres of refuge land will be burned in order to mimic a historic wetland regime, thus recycling nutrients and promoting a mosaic of healthy native habitats, according to a press release issued by the refuge.

Ignition is planned to last two or three days and will produce visible smoke for a short duration each day. These burns should result in little residual smoke after completion. The burns will be implemented under a strict set of guidelines and weather parameters to provide for public and firefighter safety.

If unsafe weather conditions exist, the burn will be rescheduled for a later date, according to the press release.

The refuge visitor center will remain open during the burns.

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The tour loop may be closed for a short time during one of the prescribed burns to ensure the safety of the public and firefighters.

For more information, contact Ken Roberts, prescribed fire specialist, at 575-625-4013.

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