Fire managers are planning a prescribed burn in Santa Fe National Forest's Pacheco Canyon to reduce hazardous fuels that could feed a wildfire. 

The 550-acre burn could take place as early as Saturday and will be in the Española Ranger District, about six miles east of Tesuque Pueblo and three miles west of Ski Santa Fe, according to a news release from the U.S. Forest Service.

Smoke will be visible on roads and other areas where debris is being burned.

A prescribed burn helped firefighters keep the Medio Fire northeast of Santa Fe to 4,000 acres last year. Had crews not thinned out fuels and debris before the wildfire season began, the blaze would have been even larger, fire officials said.

Experts say the state could see more intense wildfires this year because of a dry winter caused by a lingering drought.

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