Highway 380 Fuel Break

In 2008-09, a fire break was constructed along Highway 380 by the Save Our Bosque Task Force in an ongoing effort to control non-native, fire-prone woody species along the Rio Grande riparian corridor.  This fuel break not only serves as a protection against catastrophic wildfires, but also provided the opportunity to restore the native riparian plant community.

Salt cedar extraction and mulching began in April 2008. The project area began at the edge of the river near San Antonio and extended to the east, paralleling highway 380 for approximately 3000 feet. The cleared area extends 250-300 feet to the north of the highway. A small area in the northwest corner of the treatment area was only mulched. Salt cedar resprouts were treated with the herbicide Arsenal in the fall of 2008 and again in the fall of 2009. In the spring of 2009, 100 cottonwood poles were planted along the north and south sides of the fuel break east of the river. In the summer of 2009, the Socorro County road department rebuilt a dirt dike that had been washed out by the previous summer’s arroyo flows. In December of 2009, 1.3 additional acres of salt cedar were extracted along the north border on the eastern end of the fuel break. The Save Our Bosque Task Force will continue to work with partners to schedule periodic treatment of resprouts as needed on the project footprint, and will look for new opportunities to partner with other entities and organizations to improve and enlarge this fuel break.