Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire at 6,946 acres

Magdalena, NM; June 3, 2016 – The North Fire on the Magdalena Ranger District had minimal growth yesterday and is now approximately 6,946 acres. The lightning-caused fire is located in the San Mateo Mountains, 25 miles southwest of Magdalena, NM. The North Fire is being actively managed for multiple resource benefits.

Firing operations continued on the east side of Forest Road 138 yesterday.   Crews are introducing a low-intensity backing fire into North Canyon and other interior canyons.  This will mitigate high severity effects but still allow for the creation of canopy openings to promote aspen regeneration.  Crews used hand ignitions to clear ground fuels in pine stringers along the southeast perimeter.  The southern boundary of the fire is now in patrol/monitor status.

Reintroducing fire to the San Mateo Mountains will improve ecosystem health and vigor, improve wildlife habitat, protect cultural resources, reduce hazardous fuels, and return fire to a fire dependent ecosystem.  Fire behavior and effects are continuously being assessed to ensure incident objectives are being met.  There are 129 personnel assigned to this incident.

The weather forecast for Friday through the weekend calls for a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms.  Communities surrounding Magdalena, NM continue to experience drifting smoke and haze in the afternoon and evenings. The New Mexico Department of Health provides a visibility test to determine smoke impacts in your area at: The New Mexico Air Quality Bureau has placed a smoke monitor at the Magdalena Ranger District Administrative Site, located off County Road 107, in Magdalena, NM.  The smoke monitoring website is:

A temporary Area Closure Order has been issued for the vicinity of the North Fire.  All National Forest System lands, roads, and trails within the closure area are closed to public use.

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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