Taos, NM, July 7, 2016—A lightning caused fire was reported on the Questa Ranger District on July 4, 2016. The Independence Fire was reported at a tenth of an acre located north of the Lama Foundation in the Columbine/Hondo Wilderness Area. The suppression strategy decision was to place the fire in monitor status for firefighter safety due to the fire burning in a hazardous tree. District fire personnel monitored the fire daily for any increased fire behavior.
Today’s increased temperatures however resulted in active fire behavior. The fire has grown to 7 acres burning to the north and east in heavy fuels and has crossed into private property. The fire is estimated to have burned two tenths of an acre into the private property.
A helicopter has begun water drops to halt the further advance of the fire into the private property. The Carson Hotshots and the Farmington BLM Type 2 crew have been ordered for the morning and will help continue work to contain the progress of the fire.
The helicopter is drawing water from Eagle Rock Lake and the public is being discouraged from entering the Lake area until further notice.
Smoke is visible from Questa, Lama and the surrounding communities. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found, at the New Mexico Department of Health website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.