Magdalena, NM; May 27, 2016 – The Magdalena Ranger District’s North Fire has increased in size to 2,920 acres. Approximately 117 personnel are assigned to the incident. This lightning-caused fire is being actively managed for multiple resource benefits. The North Fire is located in the San Mateo Mountains, 25 miles southwest of Magdalena, NM.
Weather conditions allowed aerial ignitions (dropping incendiary device from a helicopter) along with hand line ignition to continue yesterday on the North Fire. Fire crews were able to direct fire on both the north and east side of the fire. The fire moved along the west side of the Crest Road (FR 138) and along FR 330 to the east. The fire continues to burn in ponderosa pine, pinon juniper, mixed-conifer, grass and brush. As the North Fire continues to burn, pre-determined management areas are mapped to keep the fire within those boundaries. The introduction of fire into the ecosystem helps reduce hazardous fuels, removes fuel ahead of the fire and prepares the fire perimeter for restoration and modified vegetation of wildlife enhancement.
A public meeting to discuss the North Fire will be held tonight at 7:00 PM. It will be at the Magdalena High School Fine Arts Center in Magdalena. Members of the Incident Management Team and Forest Officials will be present to share information and address questions and concerns. The public is invited to attend.
Moderated fire behavior is likely to be observed due to predicted cooler temperature conditions through the Memorial Day weekend.
Smoke continues to be visible from US Highway 60 and I-25 south of Socorro, New Mexico. Local communities surround Magdalena, NM continue to experience drifting smoke and haze in the afternoon and evening. 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.
A temporary Closure Order has been issued in the vicinity of the North Fire. All National Forest System lands, roads, and trails within the closure area are closed to public use. The closed areas are as follows:
Trail 92, Trail 91, Trail 36, Trail 37, Trail 37A, Trail 38
Forest Road (FR) 330, FR 378, FR 138, FR 138A, FR 56, FR 52
For more information, please contact the Magdalena Ranger District at 575-854-2281, or visit the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com , Twitter:@Cibola_NF, www.facebook.com/cibolanf, and http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/