Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire Grows to 26,871 Acres

Magdalena, NM; June 16, 2016 – The North fire on the Magdalena Ranger District grew in size yesterday and is now 26,871 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 toward Monica Saddle northeast into Monica Canyon. Active fire behavior was observed between upper Monica Canyon, Little Monica Canyon and the north face of A/L Peak.  Crews implemented point protection at Clemons cabin with black lining on the east side of the fire.  Today crews will continue to implement back lining operations on FR 138 to FR 549, and down on FR 52 across the northeast fire perimeter.  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 137 personnel assigned to the incident.

The weather forecast for Thursday through the weekend calls a drying trend which will develop over the region. Increased winds on Thursday with single digit relative humidity is forecast for the North Fire.  This pattern will increase fire behavior and smoke production.  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 from Albuquerque to 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: 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:   Smoke will continue to be visible from I-25 south of Socorro, NM and from US Highway 60 west of Magdalena, NM.

Tonight an open house to discuss the North Fire will be held at the Magdalena Ranger District Conference Room from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (MST). 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 , Twitter:@Cibola_NF,, and

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