Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire Held at 36,302 Acres

Magdalena, NM; June 24, 2016 – The North fire on the Magdalena Ranger District grew to 36,302 acres; at 42% 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.

Fire behavior was minimal due to the cloud cover and increased relative humidity, although no significant moisture fell on the fire area. Crews continue to patrol and mop up to keep fire within the existing perimeter. Today, wind and terrain driven fire is expected in ponderosa pine stands. The fire is still meeting resource objectives. Crews will mop up and patrol the burned area to Monica Saddle, keeping the fire within existing perimeter to protect private property to the north and east.  Crews will continue to hold and improve fire perimeter from FR 138 to prevent further fire growth.  Some smoke can be expected as pockets of unburned fuel in the fire’s interior ignite. Fire behavior and effects are being assessed to ensure they meet incident objectives. Point protection is being provided to maintain private and infrastructure values. There are currently 99 personnel assigned to the incident.

The weather forecast Friday through the weekend calls for possible afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Though moderate fire behavior will limit smoke production, the community of Magdalena and surrounding areas should be cautious of smoke impacts.  Visit the New Mexico Department of Health 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 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. Due to the severe fire danger, and to protect public health and safety, Stage I fire restrictions have been implemented on the Magdalena Ranger District of Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands.

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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