Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire at 30,365 Acres

Magdalena, NM; June 17, 2016 – The North fire on the Magdalena Ranger District increased in size yesterday and is now 30,365 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.

Hand ignition continued off FR 138 through Monica Saddle into Monica Canyon. Crews implemented 9 miles of black lining operations from Cooney Cabin to Little Monica Canyon across the northeast fire perimeter yesterday.  Crews working night operations used hand ignitions bring fire down FR 549 along the west side of Monica Canyon.  Today crews will patrol and monitor the fire operations from yesterday.  More ignitions can be expected as conditions warrant down FR 549 to the FR 52 junction. The fire continues to burn in fire adapted ponderosa pine, piñon–juniper, mixed-conifer, and grass. Fire behavior and effects are being assessed to insure incident objectives are being met. The southeastern perimeter of the fire remains in patrol/monitor status.  There are currently 146 personnel assigned to the incident.

The weather forecast for Friday into the weekend calls a drying trend which will continue to develop over the region. Single digit relative humidity are forecast for the North Fire on Friday.  This pattern will increase fire behavior and smoke production.  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: 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.

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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