- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

TAOS, N.M. (AP) - Officials with the Carson National Forest are watching the weather as they plan for a prescribed fire next week on the east side of the Valle Vidal.

The work is scheduled to begin next Wednesday. The project includes more than four square miles east of the McCrystal Campground.

Crews will be clearing out pine litter, grasses and other woody debris using drip torches to ignite the flames by hand.

Forest officials say the goal is to improve wildlife habitat by decreasing the density of tree stands and increasing the diversity of tree size and age.

The prescribed burn will also help with the restoration of meadows and reduce the potential for a high-intensity wildfire.

Smoke will be visible from the communities of Cimarron and Ute Park.

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