Commissary Fire Final Update

July 7, 2015, 09:00 A.M.

SANTA FE, NM – July 7, 2015 – For Immediate Release. Fire managers on the lightning-caused Commissary Fire on the Santa Fe National Forest’s Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District are wrapping up operations on the 1,700-acre fire. The Commissary Fire started on June 5 and has been managed over the past few weeks to improve forest health.

Located 13 miles east of Pecos, NM, and two miles south of Barillas Peak, the Commissary Fire area will continue to be patrolled by fire crews. As remaining interior fuel continues to burn, lingering smoke may be visible.

Fire managers managed the Commissary Fire for resource objectives, including improving wildlife and range habitat, encouraging regeneration of aspen, and improving watershed and overall forest health. These actions, including using low-intensity fires to reduce excess fuels, are expected to moderate the risk of future high-intensity fires.

While objectives for the Commissary Fire have been successfully met, it may take several years to see the full effects of the managed fire. The burned area will be assessed over the next few days, and the public will be allowed to enter the area as soon as it is determined to be safe.

Please use extreme caution when entering a recently burned area.  Fire-weakened or dead trees can fall with no advance warning.  Trees that were completely consumed leave a deep “stump hole” that may not be visible because of ash and dirt.  It is very easy to break an ankle if you step in one of these.  Stump holes may also hold hot, burning embers for weeks.  Rocks may give way and roll downhill since many of the root systems that held them in place have been burned away.

Unless significant activity occurs, this will be the final update on the Commissary Fire.  After today, please contact the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District for information at (505) 757-6121.

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