The School Fire at 6,500 Acres

Reserve, NM; July 16, 2016 – The School fire on the Reserve Ranger District remains active and has now consumed 6,500 acres within the management perimeter; with 50% containment. The lightning-caused fire started on July 8, 2016 and is located at the junction of Snow Lake and Willow Creek along 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 Friday was to monitor containment lines along the perimeter. The use of existing roads have 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 or less. For Saturday the management of the fire will transition from a type three incident back to a less complex type four management.

Planned actions for today include holding existing containment lines along the perimeter of the fire. This will include securing the southern perimeter along the Snow Lake Road.

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 six small fires (known as the Gilita Complex) close to the School Fire all located in the 2006 Bear Fire scar. As of the morning of Friday the 15th the fire was at 42 acres with minor growth in the heat of the day. The Reserve Ranger District will continue to monitor these fires.

Resources for the School fire include one crew, two type six engines 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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