The School Fire at 5,905 Acres

Reserve, NM; July 15, 2016 – The School fire on the Reserve Ranger District is remains active and has now consumed 5,905 acres within the management perimeter; with 20% 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 are being met with this fire. A fair amount of dead standing snags and logs within the fire perimeter have been consumed, which have provided for future safe access, reduced hazardous fuels, improving rangeland health and site preparation for reforestation.

Management actions taken on Thursday was to improve containment lines along the perimeter and continue with burnout operations, to protect remaining Ponderosa Pine stands with low intensity fire effects. Containment strategies using existing roads has been successful in keeping the fire in the 2006 Bear Fire scar allowing potential for future rehabilitation. The fire behavior was low intensity with flames of one foot. For Friday, fire behavior and smoke activity is expected to be similar due to mimicking weather conditions over the past few days.

Planned actions for today include holding existing containment lines along the perimeter of the fire and to monitor the south end of the fire based on the anticipated winds coming out of the Northwest.

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, heavy traffic, and fire personnel along the roadside.

The same lightning storm on July 8, 2016 started the Gilita Complex close to the School Fire all located in the 2006 Bear Fire scar, which is now at 35 acres. The Reserve Ranger District will continue to monitor this complex fire.

Resources for the School fire include two crews, four engines, and one Helicopter that will be supporting the School Fire, along with the Gilita Complex.

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

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