Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire at 36,110 Acres

Magdalena, NM; June 20, 2016 – The North fire on the Magdalena Ranger District grew in size yesterday and is now 36,110 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 constructed hand line on the fire west of FR 138 in Chimney Canyon yesterday. Crews continued to patrol and monitor along the north and east sides of the fire perimeter. Fire behavior remained active along ridge tops in ponderosa pine, piñon–juniper, mixed-conifer, and grass. Today crews will continue constructing fire line west of FR 138 in Chimney Canyon. 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 166 personnel assigned to the incident.

The weather forecast for Monday remains the same with unseasonably warm air temperatures along with a drying trend accompanied by possible afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Relative humidity forecast for the North Fire will continue to be in the single digits on Monday. 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 settling in the Plains of St. Augustin, west of Magdalena, 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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