Prescribed burn

File photo from U.S. Forest Service-Carson National Forest Facebook page Courtesy photo

Carson National Forest fire managers are planning several prescribed burns over the next several weeks, as long as conditions such as wind and temperature are right.

Depending on conditions, fire crews planned to start the 902-acre Canjilon Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) burns this week and continue through Monday (April 19). The project is intended to reduce hazardous fuels and protect the communities near Canjilon.

Other prescribed burns planned until the end of May, depending on conditions, are:

• Approximately 4,967 acres for the Ring unit within the Valle Vidal near Cimarron, New Mexico.

• 920-acre broadcast burn for the North Hart Canyon unit in the Valle Vidal.

• 1,300 acres for the La Jara unit in Taos Canyon.

• 140-acre broadcast burn for the Eul unit on Carracas Mesa in the Jicarilla Ranger District.

• 1-acre pile burn on Cabresto Mesa in the Jicarilla Ranger District.

• 902 acres for the Mesita broadcast burn in Canjilon, New Mexico.

• 1,243 acres for the Enseñada broadcast burn in El Rito, New Mexico.

• 1,893 acres for the Martínez Canyon broadcast burn in Tres Piedras, New Mexico.

Smoke from the Mesita prescribed burn may be visible from Canjilon, Cebolla, Placita Garcia, Río Blanco, Abiquiú and El Rito.

For more information about smoke and protecting your health, see the New Mexico Department of Health Environmental Public Health Tracking website, nmtracking.org.

Forest Action Plan released

New Mexico has issued the state's 2020 Forest Action Plan - required every decade under the federal farm bill - "to improve the health, resiliency and productivity of the state's forests and watersheds" for long-term sustainability.

The first plan was released in 2010 and this second version now sets a plan for state agencies and the federal government to collaborate across jurisdictions on landscape-scale forest and watershed projects. Forests usually encompass federal, state and private lands. Addressing issues such as reducing the wildfire risks of overgrown forests requires cooperation across jurisdictions.

"The Forest Action Plan integrates the work of dozens of stakeholders who contributed their invaluable expertise to its development over the last year," said New Mexico State Forester Laura McCarthy. "This collaboration is essential in moving forward with a solid foundation to address both human-caused and natural threats to our lands in a continually changing climate."

The 2020 plan addresses the needs to restore forests and watersheds, protect rare plants and wildlife habitat, provide restoration jobs to local communities, reforestation efforts and outdoor recreation.

The 2020 New Mexico Forest Action Plan and related documents can be viewed and downloaded at emnrd.state.nm.us/SFD/statewideassessment.html.

Fuel-cell tech for heavy-duty vehicles

Los Alamos National Laboratory is working with partners to develop technology for powering heavy-duty vehicles and off-grid generators with cleaner fuels to address climate change.

According to a statement from the lab, the U.S. transportation industry is the nation's largest generator of greenhouse gases, accounting for nearly one-third of climate-warming emissions.

LANL is working with private Advent Technology Holdings, Brookhaven National Lab and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop for market "high-temperature proton exchange membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cells that convert hydrogen and other renewable fuels into electricity."

"As the heavy-duty transportation industry seeks greener alternatives to combustion engines, HT-PEM fuel cells promise a clean, efficient alternative," said Rod Borup, Los Alamos program manager for Fuel Cells and Vehicle Technology.

According to the lab, HT-PEM fuel cells could "revolutionize the heavy-duty transportation industry. They can allow ships to run on renewable methanol or ammonia, airplanes to run on dimethyl ether or hydrogen, and off-grid power generators to work with low- or zero-carbon fuels that are easily transportable to remote locations."

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