Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire grows to 3,947 acres

Magdalena, NM; May 29, 2016 – The North Fire on the Magdalena Ranger District is now at 3, 947acres with approximately 128 personnel on the incident.   The lightning-caused fire is located in the San Mateo Mountains, 5 miles east of Grassy Lookout and 25 miles southwest of Magdalen. NM.   This lightning-caused fire is being actively managed for multiple resource benefits.

Aerial ignitions (dropping incendiary device from a helicopter) continued yesterday on Forest Road 138, cleaning up unburned fuels within the fire perimeter. Fire crews were able to use direct ignitions on the ridge line east and south along Forest Road 330. Also, fire crews were able to us hand ignition along the Forest Road 138 south and successfully around to Grassy Lookout, firing in Ponderosa Pine stringers and grass within the fire planning area.   The fire continues to burn in ponderosa pine, mixed-conifer, grass and brush.  Fire behavior in the conifer fuels continues to back down ridges with primarily surface fire.   As the North Fire continues to burn, a planning area has been developed and every effort will be made to keep the North Fire within its 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.

Increase in fire behavior may be observed over the North fire with predicted warmer to dryer conditions through the Memorial Day weekend.

Smoke will continue to be visible from US Highway 60 and I-25 south of Socorro, New Mexico. Local communities surrounding Magdalena, NM will 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:

A temporary Area 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 trails and roads affected by the Area Closure include:

  • 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 , Twitter:@Cibola_NF,, and

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