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

Magdalena, NM; June 25, 2016 – The North fire on the Magdalena Ranger District remains at 36,302 acres; at 48% 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.

Yesterday morning aerial ignitions occurred in interior pine stringers, piñon–juniper, and grass in Cooney Canyon along ridge tops in the Withington Wilderness. Crews continued to patrol and mop up to keep fire within the existing perimeter. Crews continued to hold and improve fire perimeter from FR 138 to prevent further fire growth. Some moisture fell on the fire area yesterday afternoon.  Today crews will keep the fire within existing perimeter to protect private property to the north and east. Crews will continue to mop up and patrol the burned area to Monica Saddle keeping the fire within the existing fire perimeter. Fire behavior will continue to be active along ridge tops in ponderosa pine, piñon–juniper, mixed-conifer, and grass. 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 98 personnel assigned to the incident.

The weather forecast Saturday 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: 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 website is: 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 , Twitter:@Cibola_NF,, and

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