The Carson National Forest announced Friday (March 20) that the agency has postponed all prescribed burns until further notice in light of the additional respiratory challenges the public faces during the outbreak of COVID-19, a pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus.
Potential smoke impacts to the public are always considered in prescribed fire and wildfire management, said the Forest Service in a statement. The decision to postpone ignitions will "prevent any effects from smoke that might further endanger at-risk members of our communities, and reduce exposure for Forest Service employees, cooperators and other resources assigned to the prescribed fire, who would not be able to follow current guidance on unnecessary travel and social distancing," according to the statement.
Any Taos County resident who has developed a fever above 100.4, cough, shortness of breath or even mild flu-like symptoms need to limit exposure to other people. Immediately contact your healthcare provider to discuss symptoms and any risk factors for COVID-19. Any individual who has symptoms but does not have a healthcare provider should contact the New Mexico Department of Health at 855-600-3453.
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