Ojitos Fire Update: July 10, 2017

Start date: Friday, July 7. The fire was found on Saturday, and crews made it to the area on Sunday.

Cause:  Lightning.

Location:  Santa Fe National Forest, Coyote Ranger District, inside the Chama River Canyon Wilderness.  The fire is approximately 5 miles south of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert and ½ mile from the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) and sits within the 90,000-acre Rio Chama block that has been NEPA cleared for forest restoration.

Size:  4-5 acres

Growth Potential: Moderate

Resources:  3 engines, 10-15 personnel

Vegetation: Primarily ponderosa pine with mixed conifer in the drainages and on the north slopes.

Status:  The lightning-caused fire is on a ridgeline in the Chama River Canyon Wilderness, which is not conducive to safety zones or escape routes for firefighters.  The fire’s growth is limited by topography, including drainages, cliffs and multiple areas of bare soil with no vegetation.  To date, the fire has stayed on the ground, consuming forest litter as it creeps down slope, into drainages and back up ridges. The expectation is that it will continue to creep through continuous fuels but will be stopped by cliffs and other rocky areas. These same factors have kept previous fires in the Chama Wilderness from making a significant run. Typically, rainfall at this time of year helps keep fire activity low. Crews are monitoring the Ojitos Fire from the top of Mesa de los Indios and are prepared to take action if the fire approaches roads or other values at risk. The nearest road is Forest Road 468, and the nearest private land is approximately 3 miles southwest with multiple drainages in between.

Advisories: The Forest Service has posted signs at entrances to the CDT and the Rio Chama area. At some point, the District may close a segment of the CDT known locally as the Ojitos Trail (Trail 298) between NM Highway 96 and Scull Bridge.  Smoke may be visible from the Rio Chama and the tops of nearby mesas.

Weather:  Light winds and sporadic moisture are expected to continue with partly cloudy conditions and isolated showers and thunderstorms through the week as a modest plume of monsoon moisture develops.

Fire Information: Updates will be available as needed on the New Mexico Fire Information website at nmfireinfo.com, @SantaFeNF and www.facebook.com/SantaFeNF.

# # #

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: