Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire at 7,604 acres

Magdalena, NM; June 4, 2016 – The North Fire on the Magdalena Ranger District increased in size and is now approximately 7,604 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. It is now 20% contained.

Fire crews continued to clean pockets of unburned fuels along FR 138 and remove snags (standing, dead trees) along FR 549 to the FR 52 intersection. Fire in Water Canyon yesterday was moving down ridge lines into mix-confer.  Fire was creeping in pine stringers along the southern edge of the Withington Wilderness, moving in an easterly direction. The southeastern perimeter of the fire remains in patrol/monitor status.

The fire continues to burn in fire adapted ponderosa pine, piñon–juniper, mixed-conifer, and grass. The North Fire is enhancing wildlife habitat while protecting cultural resources, reducing hazardous fuel, and returning fire to the ecosystem. Fire behavior and effects are continuously being assessed to ensure that incident objectives are being met.  There are 129 personnel assigned to the incident.

The weather forecast for Saturday through the weekend calls for a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Smoke continues to be visible from US Highway 60 west of Magdalena, NM. 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: https://nmtracking.org/fire. 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: http://app.airsis.com/USFS/fleet.aspx

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 www.nmfireinfo.com , Twitter:@Cibola_NF, www.facebook.com/cibolanf, and http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

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