Commissary Fire Update (Santa Fe National Forest)

June 16, 2015; 11:00 A.M.
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 160 acres Percent Contained: 0%
Cause: Lightning Personnel Assigned: 30
Vegetation: Ponderosa pine, aspen, mixed conifer, grass and brush
Growth Potential: Low

Summary: The Commissary Fire on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District continues to burn naturally. Fire managers are monitoring and managing the fire as a tool to meet multiple resource objectives. The fire is now approximately 160 acres.

Fire crews observed a much more active day yesterday with burning close to the ground in the fallen needles and underbrush along the west side. Fire growth was short-lived due to higher humidity and increased cloud cover.
The fire has reached the drainage bottoms on both the east and west flanks. Fuel conditions in the drainage bottoms are much wetter than the rest of the fire area, but they are filled with heavy dead fuel loads. Although there were thunderstorms in the region, the fire area received only 0.03 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. The Barillas Lookout reported 0.05 inches last night. The forecast for this week predicts a warming and drying trend which will be helpful in meeting objectives.

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 scattered showers and thunderstorms in the morning, then continuing with numerous showers and thunderstorms into 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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