News Release

Gila District, Arizona

Media Contact:  June Lowery, (520) 258-7223                                                    

May 29, 2020

Prescribed fire planned for Las Cienegas National Conservation Area

Project will improve grasslands in the Sonoita Valley

Tucson, Ariz. – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Tucson Field Office and Gila District Fire Management Office will conduct a multiple day prescribed burn on the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA), pending appropriate weather and seasonal conditions, from late May through June 2020. The Airstrip Burn will cover approximately 758 acres of BLM land on the LCNCA and is located seven miles north of Sonoita. 

Prescribed fires are intended to mimic natural fire frequency and intensity. They improve the health of the land by stimulating growth of desirable grasses, reducing invasive plants, and managing fuel loads so that natural fires are less destructive.  

The LCNCA contains over 47,000 acres of some of the most biologically rich and ecologically diverse biotic communities in the world. The BLM’s management of the LCNCA brings together private ranchers and federal, state, county, and local agencies together to conserve and enhance the ecosystems in the area while providing opportunities for collaborative conservation stewardship. 

“The Las Cienegas National Conservation Area has some impressive natural values, and these fire treatments are part of a long-term collaborative conservation stewardship effort to conserve the natural values of the area,” said Tucson Office Manager Jayme Lopez. 

The LCNCA area and roads listed below will be closed from 6 p.m. the day before each burn to 6 a.m. the day after each burn is completed.  

Specific area closure:

  • Airstrip Group Site-Closed to use
  • Airstrip Day Use Area- Closed to use
  • Dispersed Camping- Closed from the junction with the LC-6901 road to the junction of the LC-6905 road.
  • Empire Gulch Day Use Site-Closed to use

Specific road closures:

  • LC-6901- Closed from the junction with the LC-6900 road to the junction of the LC-6905 road.
  • LC-6902- Closed from the junction with the LC-6901 road to the junction of the LC-6905 road.
  • LC-6903- The entire road will be closed during prescribed fire operations.

Fire crews will monitor the burned area during and after all prescribed burns. Prescribed burn information will be available the day of the burn at the Tucson Field Office. For more information, contact Public Affairs Specialist June Lowery, 520-258-7223.

-BLM-

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.

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June Lowery

Public Affairs Officer

BLM Gila District, Interior Region 8 (Lower Colorado Basin)

Phone:  520-258-7223

Fax:  520-258-7238

Cell: 520-345-2825