Slash Disposal

Wildfire is not only possible, but common. The science only requires that there is oxygen, ignition, and fuel available for the process to occur. As the Southwest becomes more arid, it is especially important to mitigate the hazard by removing fuels. Thinning your property generates slash, which should be removed.

Disposing of Your Slash

Slash on your lot is a fire hazard. There are multiple ways to dispose of it in our area. You can burn it (permit required and weather contditions permitting), you can have it chipped, you can take it to the Thompson Ridge Slash Pit, or, if you have enough acreage or several adjoining landowners who are interested, you can hire personnel from All Hands All Lands. Note that chipping may defeat the life cycle of bark beetles that have entered the slash (see our "Bark Beetles" page for details, and for information on "Borers" as well).

Request to Burn

If you plan to burn slash on your lot, you will need a burn permit from Sandoval County. Burn piles should be no more than 3' x 3' x 3'; if you have more, feed the 3' pile from the larger pile as it burns. Keep a shovel, plenty of water, and a rake nearby and call 911 immediately if the fire should get out of control. The burn permit can be obtained from Sandoval County. Please specify La Cueva Fire District on the form so that Chief Taylor knows in case a smoke check call comes in. Please follow the restrictions described on the form and burn only when weather conditions permit.

Please note: Under no conditions should you burn when there are fire restrictions in the Santa Fe National Forest.

LCVFD Chipping

La Cueva Volunteer Fire Department is able to borrow a chipper owned by Sandoval County from time to time and will chip slash on your property without charge. To make chipping efficient and safe, please follow these instructions.

  • Place slash near a road or driveway where a truck with a chipper can be parked without blocking traffic and has easy access for personnel.

  • Branches must be 10" or less in diameter.

  • Pile slash (no stumps or building materials) neatly with stems out for easy handling.

  • Cut branches into lengths which are easily carried.

  • Be sure there are no nails or other metal in the slash. Avoid including pine needles or vines which can clog the chipper.

The chips can be broadcast, piled on your property, or carried away in a truck. For more information, contact LCVFD Chief Lee Taylor at

Log Splitter Available for Loan

JMFC owns two gasoline-powered log splitters that can be borrowed for limited periods by homeowners wishing to split their own logs for firewood. The splitter is mounted on wheels and requires a 2" ball hitch for transportation. Contact Howard Fegan at 829-3031 to make arrangements. If you borrow the a splitter, please consider making a donation to assist with its maintenance. Checks payable to JMFA can be sent to Jemez Mountains Firewise Association, % Tom Swetnam, 990 Ponderosa Drive, Jemez Springs, NM 87025.

Thompson Ridge Slash Pit

A slash pit at one of the old geothermal exploration sites on Forest Road 106J (off Thompson Ridge Road) is available to residents with slash to dump. This pit is burned by the Forest Service when it is full. It is for slash only-- no trash, stumps, or building materials. Material should be dumped into the pit and not piled on the apron. The road to the slash pit is closed approximately from January 1 to April 30 when the site is difficult to access. If the gate is closed, please do not dump your slash in the area.

Update: Due to problems, the slash pit is not currently open. Check this page for changes in status.

All Hands All Lands

Landowners with larger areas to burn can contact the All Hands All Lands Burn Team. This organization is a collaborative effort involving the Nature Conservancy of New Mexico, the Forest Stewards Guild, the Rio Grande Water Fund, and other organizations to manage controlled burns on private land. Further information about All Hands All Lands can be found at .

Last update: 10/15/2021