North Crest Fire – Cibola National Forest – 7/9/17 5:15 p.m

Albuquerque, NM, July 6, 2017 – Crews are still arriving on scene at the North Crest Fire and a full suppression strategy is being used.  The Crest Highway is closed at the 10K Recreation Site and only emergency vehicles are allowed to travel beyond that point to Sandia Crest.  All of the trailheads and backcountry trails along the Crest Highway are also closed as a precautionary measure to keep the public and firefighters safe.

The fire is burning in a mixed conifer forest that has been impacted by an insect infestation.  Numerous snags (dead trees still standing) and a high concentration of dead woody debris on the ground pose a significant threat to crews.

All decisions related to management of this fire will be based upon minimizing exposure and risk to firefighters.  To minimize the risk of fire fighter injuries or fatalities, an indirect “confine and contain” suppression strategy is being used.  A combination of constructed fire line and natural barriers such as rocks or roads will be used to restrict the fire’s growth.  Smoke will be visible as the fire continues to grow and move toward the defined containment lines.

Point protection measures are in place to defend values that are at risk.  Firefighters are taking extra measures to protect the communication towers by strengthening the fuels reduction work that has been in progress for the past few years.

Cooperators include the U. S. Forest Service, Bernalillo County, New Mexico State Police, New Mexico Department of Transportation.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Beginning at 6:00 PM tonight, information about the North Crest Fire will be available at: 505-346-3823 and 505-346-3870.  Additional updates will be sent as new information is reported.

Donna Nemeth
Public Affairs Officer

Forest Service

Cibola National Forest

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