McGaffey Wildfire Update

For text messages on the progress of the fire text ‘follow CarsonNF’ to 40404.

Fire resources on the McGaffey Fire were able to complete burnout operations on the east side of the planned area before the arrival of the afternoon precipitation.  The moisture and lower temperatures caused a heavy smoke inversion in the evening with smoke dropping down into the Rio Grande drainage and across to the community of Carson.

Today the conditions on the fire have been evaluated and burning will continue contingent on the moisture level in the fuels and the 50% chance of afternoon precipitation. Work will also continue on the east side to insure lines remain secure. Smoke will continue to be visible from Taos and surrounding communities.

Fire managers are utilizing this naturally caused fire to promote forest health by managing this fire to meet multiple resource objectives. These objectives are to benefit natural and cultural resources by opening dense tree canopies and promoting the growth of grasses and shrubs that provide livestock forage and wildlife habitat.  When possible this fire is being allowed to consume clumps of smaller diameter trees to diversify tree stands and restore ecosystem health within ponderosa pine.  This type of fire will also reduce the possibility of future 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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