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ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Fire officials with a ranger district on the Lincoln National Forest in southern New Mexico are planning a handful of prescribed fires over the next several months to clear out dead trees and reduce fuel loads.

Officials on the Sacramento Ranger District say the work is scheduled to begin in October and run through next April as long as weather conditions permit.

The prescribed fires will target a total of about 3,200 acres (1,295 hectares) around the communities of Mayhill, Weed and Cloudcroft. The largest of the projects will involve the burning of more than 2,100 acres (850 hectares) about 5 miles southwest of Weed.

Officials say reducing forest fuels can help minimize future wildfire risks.

They also warned that smoke may be visible during the prescribed fires.