Firefighters Responding to Wildfire in El Malpais National Monument

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2017
Contact: Lisa Collins, 505-285-4641 ext. 18, lisa_collins@nps.gov

Firefighters Responding to Wildfire in El Malpais National Monument

The Bandera Fire was reported at approximately 10:50 am on April 24, 2017. The fire is located approximately 18 miles SW of Grants, NM in the northwest corner (this is a correction, previous update incorrectly referred to the northeast corner) of El Malpais National Monument, near County Road 42 and NPS 200 Road. The fire was initially reported on private property and then moved onto National Park Service property. The cause is under investigation.

National Park Service (NPS) and USDA Forest Service firefighters responded. Initial reports were that approximately 5 acres had burned. A 12:50 pm update relayed that firefighters were experiencing sustained 10-12 mph winds with undetermined variable and extremely high gusts. The area is currently under a Red Flag Warning and High Wind Advisory. While flames in most areas were at 2 feet, single and group torching of trees was observed.

As of 2 pm, the fire is estimated to be approximately 50 acres. The fire is expected to grow due to erratic and gusty winds. There are at least two private residences currently threatened. Firefighters are working on establishing firelines and placing hoses to help protect structures.

Currently, fire crews from the NPS and the USDA Forest Service, including the Mt. Taylor Hotshots are on scene, with a total of four engines. Crews from the BLM and BIA have been requested and a Type 3 team has been ordered for logistical support. Five wildland fire engines have been ordered, along with a Type 3 helicopter for use in air operations.

The Cibola County Sheriff’s Department has closed County Road 42 at the north end junction with NM Highway 53 for public safety reasons. Travelers may experience smoke and should be alert for fire vehicles in the area. For information on smoke and your health visit https://nmtracking.org/environment/air/FireAndSmoke.html.

Local residents are encouraged to be prepared in the event of evacuation. Learn more about how you can prepare for wildfire at http://bit.ly/RSGNM.

For more information about the Bandera Fire, contact Public Information Officer Lisa Collins at 505-285-4641, extension 18 or visit http://nmfireinfo.com.

www.nps.gov

BanderaFireMap.jpg

Interactive Fire Map – https://maps.nwcg.gov/sa/

Fire Weather Forecast – http://www.weather.gov/abq/?n=forecasts-fireweather

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