Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire Increases to 23,915 Acres

Magdalena, NM; June 15, 2016 – The North fire on the Magdalena Ranger District grew in size yesterday and is now 23,915 acres; at 30% containment. 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.

Limited ignition continued off FR 138 from Monica trail west toward Monica Saddle. Active fire behavior was observed later in the day with increased southwest winds between upper Monica Canyon and AL Peak.  Crews implemented black line operations from Chavez Canyon to FR 56 on the east side of the fire perimeter.  The fire continues to actively burn in fire adapted ponderosa pine, piñon–juniper, mixed-conifer and grass.  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 Wednesday through the weekend calls for a hot and dry trend, which will build up and peak by the week-end over most of New Mexico. This pattern will increase fire behavior and smoke production.  The most likely scenario for the communities surrounding the North Fire from this weather pattern is that there will be little movement of air to get the smoke up and out of the area. Smoke will not move very far or mix well into the atmosphere.  It will settle into drainages and low-lying areas, with high likelihood for evening inversions. Smoke may be heavy at times during all hours and lifting of smoke during the day slower than has been seen over the past days.  Communities and residents in the vicinity of Magdalena and surrounding areas should be aware of these conditions and take care of themselves accordingly. 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 websites is:  http://app.airsis.com/USFS/fleet.aspx.   Smoke will continue to be visible from I-25 south of Socorro, NM and from US Highway 60 west of Magdalena, NM.

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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