Hondito Wildfire Update

 

Location:     Tres Piedras Ranger Station

Hondito Canyon

4 miles southwest of Tres Piedras

2 miles North of Las Tablas

 

Size:  7,020 acres*

Size changed due to accurate GPS mapping

Cause:  Lightning

Start Date: May 15, 2017

Taos, NM For Immediate Release- Increasing temperatures and accompanied winds are in the extended forecast, which may increase fire behavior in the interior. Fire personnel will continue to monitor the fire.

The Hondito Fire does not have a planned end date, but fire managers have determined an approximate 15,000 acre planning area within which the fire may run its natural course. However, this does not mean the fire will move across all 15,000 acres, as specific edges of the fire will be suppressed to protect certain values such as public safety, private property, and cultural sites.  The wildfire may increase from its current size and smoke may remain visible and linger.  Press releases will be published only if there is significant change to fire behavior.

CLOSURE ORDER 02-443: The area under the closure order is adjacent to Township 28 N, Range 9 E, Section 31, as described here wholly contained within the boundaries of the Hondito Fire Area, starting 3 miles north of the Tres Piedras Ranger District Office at the junction of Hwy 64/FR167G to the junction of FR675T/222 to the junction of FR64TH/1864 and back to the junction of Hwy 64/FR167G including parking areas and roads, more specifically depicted on the attached Closure Order Map, Exhibit A.

The closure order prohibits anyone going into or being upon the restricted area, being on the road, and/or being on a trail. Exemptions include persons with a Forest Service permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission, any federal, state, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty, residents in the area accessing private property via a restricted Forest Service road to the extent necessary to gain access to their private property, persons engaged in a business, trade or occupation in the area.

Forest Service personnel will enforce the orders. Any violation of this prohibition is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 or individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or both. [Title 16 USC 551, Title 18 USC 3559, 3571 and 3581]

Historically, low-intensity wildfires burned through southwestern forests every two to 10 years as part of a natural cycle that removed leaf litter, eradicated disease and thinned the understory, making room for new growth. Fire managers are taking advantage of the Hondito Wildfire to return low-intensity fire to this landscape in a controlled operation that meets forest objectives.

The objectives for the Hondito Wildfire include mitigating the risk of high-intensity wildfire by reducing forest fuels, enhancing wildlife habitat by reducing dense understories and increasing forbs and grass cover, improving forest and watershed health, and protecting nearby communities.

Smoke from the Hondito Wildfire may be visible from Tres Piedras, Taos, Questa, US Highway 64, US Highway 285. 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 online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.

For fire information, please call the Hondito Wildfire Public Information line at (575)758-6345, or visit Carson National Forest Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CarsonNF, Twitter @CarsonNF, and NMFireInfo.com.

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Closure Map

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