Commissary Fire Update (Santa Fe National Forest)

June 15, 2015; 2:00 P.M.

Slow Fire Behavior Over the Weekend

Location:
• Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest
• Approximately 13 miles east of Pecos and 2 miles south of Barillas Peak
Start Date: June 5, 2015, reported on Saturday, June 6, 2015
Size: Approximately 127 acres Percent Contained: 0%
Cause: Lightning Personnel Assigned: 30
Vegetation: Ponderosa pine, aspen, mixed conifer, grass and brush
Growth Potential: Low

Summary: Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest’s Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District continue to allow the lightning-caused Commissary Fire to grow slowly, monitoring and managing the fire as a tool to meet multiple resource objectives. The fire is now approximately 127 acres.
Low fire activity over the weekend was due largely to precipitation and high relative humidity. Though there were rain showers throughout the state, the Commissary Fire received only a modest half-inch of moisture. Due to rain and forecasted thunder and lightning storms in the area, fire managers decided to reduce the number of crews in the interest of firefighter safety.
Preparation work continues on the planned burn area as crews wait for a drying trend predicted to move into the area on Wednesday. Increased temperatures and lower humidity will increase fire behavior and the amount of visible smoke.
Fire crews are using a two-pronged approach on the Commissary Fire – suppressing it in certain areas to protect values such as the Barillas Fire Lookout Tower and managing it for resource benefit in other areas. Resource objectives for managed fire include improving wildlife and range habitat, encouraging regeneration of aspen, and improving watershed and overall forest health. Weather conditions, predicted fire behavior, and personnel resources must be aligned to meet these fire objectives.

Road Advisories: People are asked to use caution while driving from lower Colonias north on Forest Road 83 due to an increase in fire vehicle traffic.

Structures Threatened: None

Weather: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning, then mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon and evening.

Resources Assigned:
• Firefighters: One crew (Type 2 Atalaya hand crew)
• Bulldozer: One Type 2
• Forest Personnel: Firefighters, archeologists, public information officers, fire effects monitors, and resource advisors
Fire Information: Updates will be available on the New Mexico Fire Information website at nmfireinfo.com, @SantaFeNF and http://www.facebook.com/SantaFeNF.

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