Cibola NF&NG – Wildfire Update – 7/01/2015 – Red Canyon Fire Remains at 15,401Acres

Magdalena, NM; July 1, 2015 – The Red Canyon fire on the Magdalena Ranger District remains at 15,401acres.  The lightning-caused fire is located in the San Mateo Mountains, 2 miles southeast of Grassy Lookout and 27 miles southwest of Magdalena, NM.

Firing operations continued on both side of Hudson canyon yesterday.  The regional fire ecologist stated the following: “Prior to the late 1800’s, wildfires were an essential maintenance disturbance in much of the Southwest’s forested ecosystems.  The Red Canyon fire is a perfect opportunity to re-introduce the San Mateo Mountains to fire.  This fire is going to provide for overall improved ecosystems, health and vigor.”  Firefighters are introducing backing fire into Hudson canyon to mitigate high severity effect but still allow for the creation of canopy openings in order to promote aspen regeneration.  The fire is burning in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer fuels.  The Red Canyon fire is providing good wildlife habitat, while protecting cultural resources, reducing hazardous fuels and returning the fire to the ecosystem.  As the Red Canyon fire continues to burn, fire behavior and effects are continuously being assessed to ensure incident objectives are being met.  There are 85 fire personnel assigned to the fire, two Hot Shot crews, two Wildland Fire Modules, one helicopter, and support personnel.

The weather forecast calls for chances of thunderstorms through Thursday.  The Red Canyon fire is visible from US Hwy 60 west of Magdalena, NM, Datil, NM and Pie Town, NM and along I-25 south of Socorro, New Mexico.  The New Mexico Department of Health provides a visibility test to determine smoke impacts in your area on their website at: https://nmtracking.org/en/environ_exposure/fire-and-smoke/#xEPHT__fivemile__1329.

The following Forest Roads (FR) are closed until further notice: FR 96; FR 138; FR 478A; FR 478B; FR 330; FR 331; FR 378, and FR 478.  The following trails are closed: Trails 28, 31, 43, and 63.  All the listed Forest Roads and trails are within the working boundaries of the Red Canyon fire perimeter.

Fire Information: Updates will be available by contacting the Magdalena Ranger District at: (575) 854-2281 as well as online at New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com , Twitter:@Cibola_NF, www.facebook.com/cibolanf, and www.inciweb.nwcg.org

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