McGaffey wildfire update

July 30, 2016


Today is the third day with no significant moisture on the McGaffey wildfire, offering fire managers an opportunity to utilize it to meet multiple resource objectives and promote forest health.

Today, resources will add fire to the ground to direct fire movement and regulate fire effects.  Ignitions will produce increased smoke.  Weather forecasted for this afternoon will be partly cloudy with a 50% chance of precipitation.  Winds are expected to be out of the southwest so smoke may impact the Town of Taos, Arroyo Seco and surrounding communities.  During the following few days, as fuels are consumed, smoke production will diminish.

Working with wildfire benefits natural and cultural resources by opening dense tree canopies and promoting the growth of grasses and shrubs that provide habitat for cattle and wildlife.  When possible, fire is allowed to consume clumps of smaller diameter trees to diversify tree stands and restore health within ponderosa pine.  This type of fire also reduces the possibility of future high intensity destructive wildfires that could impact the communities of Llano Quemado and Pot Creek as well as preventing damage to critical watersheds.

The New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau has been notified of the plans for this fire and smoke monitors have been placed in two 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

McGaffey Fire information can be reached at 575-758-6357 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

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