Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire Grows to 21,722 Acres

Magdalena, NM; June 14, 2016 – The North fire on the Magdalena Ranger District grew in size yesterday and is now 21,722 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.

Aerial and hand ignition continued below Mt. Withington off FR 138 through Cooney Gap to Monica Trail. Ignition continued between Dry Canyon and Potato Canyons west of Big Rosa.  Active fire behavior was observed during the heat of the day with increased southwest winds between upper Monica Canyon and Cooney Canyon.  The North Fire fire behavior and effects are continuously being assessed to insure incident objectives are being met.  The southeastern perimeter of the fire remains in patrol/monitor status.  There are currently 140 personnel assigned to the incident.

The weather forecast for Tuesday through Thursday calls for a drying trend which will 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.

An open house to discuss the North Fire will be held Thursday, June 16, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (MST) at the Magdalena Ranger District Conference Room. 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.

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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