Cibola NF & National Grasslands’ – The North Fire Increases to 42,107 Acres


Magdalena, NM; June 26, 2016 – The North fire on the Magdalena Ranger District increased in size to 42,107 acres; at 69% 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 were completed on interior pine stringers, piñon–juniper, and grass along ridge tops in Cooney Canyon in the Withington Wilderness, Big Rosa Canyon, Little Rosa Canyon and Chavez Canyon. Fire behavior in conifer fuels continues to back down ridges with primarily surface fire.   Crews continued to mop up and patrol the burned area to Monica Saddle keeping the fire within the existing fire perimeter.  Crews continued to hold and improve the fire perimeter from FR 138 to prevent further fire growth.  Crews yesterday conducted snagging operations removing burned trees along FR 330.  Wetting moisture fell on the fire yesterday afternoon.  Today crews will assist in repairing water pipe and fencing along the east side of the fire perimeter. Crews will continue to patrol and monitor the fire perimeter to protect private property to the north and east.  Fire behavior and effects are being assessed to ensure they meet the incident objectives.  Point protection is being provided to maintain private and infrastructure values.  There are currently 87 personnel assigned to the incident.

The weather forecast Sunday 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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