Daniel Rioux

I was called to make signs on Saturday and finished the project in about an hour and a half. I then posted them on the road to Rancho Lobo so people did not think there was a forest fire. Even with the signs when I drove up to the ranch a couple of cars were parked at the gate and were worried that a forest fire was happening, so much for signs.

On Sunday at 1200 I was called by Ray Guse, the fire boss, who asked me to come up to the fire I arrived on scene at 1300. The entire burn was 239 acres in size. I stayed seven hours and watched the professionalism of Ray, Jeremy Bailey, and the rest of the crew of 14 people. They had started at the mid section of a hill and worked their way down with the fire starters dripping their fire on the way down. There were two fire trucks from Santa Fe and one forest service truck on the scene. While I was with both Ray and Jeremy I asked a lot of questions and they both took their time to answer all of my questions in depth. If I were to hire a crew for a prescribed burn I would recommend both Ray and Jeremy. I was impressed with their knowledge, safety and professionalism and I would hire them for my land or recommend them to others.

Here is the prescribed fire project description: The Chama prescribed fire project is part of the Chama Peak Land Alliance to improve watershed function, wildlife habitat and ecological processes. The burn unit supports a mix of Ponderosa pine, Douglas and white fire, Engelmann spruce and quaking aspen along with other shrub and grass species. Gamble oak is the dominant shrub cover throughout 2/3rds of the unit outside the closed canopy mixed conifer on north aspects, and areas dominated by grasses at the lowest elevations within the unit. Most quaking aspen is decadent with little sustained reproduction. This burn is primarily focused on maintaining a natural range of variability in vegetation successional stages to benefit big game wildlife habitat, watershed function and at the same time it will enhance habitat for non-game, avian, and invertebrate species. This unit has been burned at least twice within the past 10 years and this entry will allow fire to continue acting as a natural disturbance process reducing accumulated fuels and the risk of catastrophic wildfire that would negatively affect the overall ecosystem health. The unit is accessed via state route 17.

Mr. Guse gave me a complete Chama prescribed fire burn unit plan. If you are interested in reading it please drop me an e-mail, with an address, and I will send it to you. Thank you for giving me the chance to go up and observe this burn please keep me in mind if you have any other projects that I could observe or participate in.

Have a Great Night,

Daniel J Rioux
“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under” – Ronald Reagan

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