Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire Increases to 20,615 Acres

Magdalena, NM; June 13, 2016 – The North fire on the Magdalena Ranger District had an increase in size yesterday and is now 20,615 acres; at 30% containment. Acreage will increase daily as ignition operations continue. The lightning-caused fire started on May 21st and is located in the San Mateo Mountains, 25 miles southwest of Magdalena, NM. It continues to be actively managed for multiple resource benefits.

Yesterday crews continued prepping line with hand ignition southwest from Withington Lookout down canyon to Monica Trail along FR 138. Aerial ignition was used along the ridge tops in Potato Canyon with active fire behavior backing down ridge lines.  The fire continues to actively burn in fire adapted ponderosa pine, piñon–juniper, mixed-conifer and grass. Crews continued scouting and prepping road systems north along the eastern fire perimeter. Warmer and drier conditions through the beginning of this week will allow the fire to continue to provide for improved ecosystem health and resilience.  As the North Fire continues to be managed, fire behavior and effects are constantly being assessed to insure incident objectives are being met. The southeastern perimeter of the fire remains in patrol/monitor status. There are currently 124 personnel assigned to the incident.

The weather forecast for Monday through mid-week calls for increased winds and a drying trend to develop over the region. Smoke will 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. The trails and roads affected by the Area Closure include:  Trails: 92, 91, 36, 37, 37A, and 38; Forest Road (FR) 330, FR 378, FR 138, FR138A, FR56, FR 52, and  FR 549 from the intersection with FR 220 to Bear Trap Campground.

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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