Forest Service begins prescribed East Mountain burns

Posted at: 01/23/2013 5:17 PM
Updated at: 01/23/2013 6:15 PM
By: Eddie Garcia, KOB Eyewitness News 4

People living east of Tijeras will be seeing a lot of smoke in the next couple of weeks because of a much needed 700 acre prescribed burn.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 was in the Talking Talons area Wednesday morning right on the fire-line.

Smoke billowed over the Leisure Mountain Community near the 40 acre Talking Talons prescribed burn.

People living in there were nervous.

"We all live on propane and if the fire comes over here and the propane starts blowing up, we're all going to die," said resident Daniel J. Pino.      

The Sandia Ranger District said there's no need for panic because dozens of crew members are on standby in case something goes wrong.

Still, a sight like this is catching people off guard.

Some people living here near the prescribed fires said they're really surprised to see smoke so close to where they live but once they found out what it was for, they said they were grateful.

"As long as it's controlled and there are firefighters out there doing what they can to keep it controlled - then I'm all for it," said resident Tajya Franks.

Considering how dry it's been, some ask if prescribed burns are enough.

"The snow pack this year has amounted to nothing," said Pino.

The Sandia Ranger District said these burns will most likely prevent fire in this area for years.

Some here said they've already cleared their area of dangerous brush and they're spreading the word.

"Even that's not going to help if your neighbors are not cooperating and doing the same. It needs to be a group effort," said resident Venus Garcia.

The Forest Service said they will of course do their part to make sure these prescribed burns go well but they said it's always up to the resident to make sure that their property is properly protected.

The Sandia Ranger District told KOB they've been sending out word about these controlled burns since late November.