Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire Grows to 35,218 Acres

Magdalena, NM; June 19, 2016 – The North fire on the Magdalena Ranger District increased in size yesterday and is now 35,218 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.

Crews completed Ignitions along FR 549 to the FR 52 junction yesterday. Fire behavior remained active along ridge tops in ponderosa pine, piñon–juniper, mixed-conifer, and grass. Crews monitored and patrolled across the northern fire perimeter. Crews observed fire on the west side of FR 138 in Chimney Canyon.  Today crews will access fire in Chimney Canyon and evaluate values at risk.  Crews will continue to patrol and monitor the perimeter 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 Sunday remains the same with 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 Sunday. This pattern will continue to increase fire behavior and smoke production. Smoke produced from the North Fire is expected to flow west-northwest of the fire late in the afternoon.  The most significant impacts are expected in the areas between the fire and Datil, NM.  The community 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.

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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