Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire at 33,428 Acres


Magdalena, NM; June 18, 2016 – The North fire on the Magdalena Ranger District increased in size yesterday and is now 33,428 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.

Ignitions continued down FR 549 towards the FR 52 junction along ridge tops with active fire behavior in ponderosa pine, piñon–juniper, mixed-conifer, and grass. Crew performed point protection around Switch Springs Cabin located east of FR 549. Crews monitored and patrolled from Cooney Cabin to Little Monica Canyon across the northeast fire perimeter yesterday. Today crews will continue to patrol and monitor the fire operations along FR 138 on the southwest perimeter of the fire.  More ignitions will continue down FR 549 to the FR 52 junction at Monica Cabin.  Interior fuels continue to be active on the southwest and southeast corners of the fire.  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 Saturday into the weekend calls for unseasonably warm air temperatures along with a drying trend which will continue to develop over the region. Relative humidity forecast for the North Fire will continue to be in the single digits on Saturday.  This pattern will continue to increase fire behavior and smoke production.  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.

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 , Twitter:@Cibola_NF,, and

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