The School Fire at 1500 Acres

Reserve, NM; July 13, 2016 – The School fire on the Reserve Ranger District increased in size yesterday and is now 1500 acres within the management perimeter; at 0% containment. The lightning-caused fire started on July 8, 2016 and is located at the junction of Snow Lake and Willow Creek along the Forest Road 28 (Bursum Road) and County Road CAT-CO21 (Snow Lake Road), about 50 miles southeast of Reserve, NM. Multiple objectives will be met by utilizing fire to reduce dead standing snags and downed logs within the fire perimeter to provide safer access and reduce hazardous fuels, improving rangeland health, and site preparation for reforestation.

Management action of the fire on Tuesday was to improve containment line along the perimeter to facilitate burn out where conditions were appropriate, which enabled fire crews to protect remaining Ponderosa Pine stands. Containment strategy using existing roads has so far been successful in allowing rehabilitation efforts for the 2006 Bear Fire scar. The fire behavior was low intensity with flames of one foot. For Wednesday, fire behavior and smoke is expected to be similar due to duplicate weather conditions.

As of yet, there are no campground or road closures due to fire activity. We do ask that visitors drive with caution and their head lights on to avoid accidents due to thick smoke and heavy traffic.

The same lightning storm on July 8, 2016 produced six other small starts close to the School Fire all located in the 2006 Bear Fire scar, one of which has increased in activity. The Reserve Ranger District will continue to monitor those starts. In order to maintain management objectives additional crews have been ordered. There are two crews and three engines that will be supporting the School Fire, along with the six monitored starts in the area.

For more information, please contact the Reserve Ranger District at 575-533-6231 for questions regarding these fires.

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