Carson National Forest Monitoring 1860 Fire

Start date:  Tuesday, July 18

Cause:  Lightning

Location:  Carson NF, Canjilon Ranger District, Pinabete Mocho area.  Approximately 4.5 miles east/southeast of the community of Canjilon and east of U.S. Highway 84

Size:  10 acres

Growth Potential:  low to moderate

Resources:  One Type 6 engine with 3 personnel

Vegetation:  Primarily ponderosa pine with pinyon/juniper and grass understory

On July 18 lightning ignited a fire adjacent to Forest Road 1860 that is slowly moving through ponderosa pine litter and dead and down timber. Fire managers have been monitoring the fire as it burns at low intensity to analyze if it has potential to benefit forest health in a fire-adapted ecosystem.

Forecasted weather over the fire area includes monsoonal moisture. Typically, rainfall at this time of year helps keep fire activity low.

After taking into consideration the fire’s location, the fuels it is burning in and current and predicted weather, the Carson National Forest is considering managing this fire to achieve multiple resource benefits. The forest’s first priority is always firefighter and public safety.

The possible benefits to the landscape include mitigating the risk of high-intensity wildfire by reducing forest fuels, improving forest and watershed health, and protecting nearby communities. A low intensity burn in this area could also enhance wildlife habitat by reducing dense understories and increasing forbs and grass cover. Discussions are underway to determine whether or not to expand the fire area to up to 4,400 acres to achieve resource objectives.

Advisories:  The public should use caution if traveling along U.S. Highway 84 and New Mexico State Road 115.  Smoke may be visible from the Canjilon area over the course of the week.  Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and intensify chronic heart and lung problems.  Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside.  If you are having health effects from smoke exposure then take extra care to stay inside or get to an area with better air quality.  You should also see your doctor or healthcare professional as needed.  For information on air quality and protecting your health, and to find guidelines on distances and visibility, please visit https://nmtracking.org/fire.

Fire Information:

Carson National Forest webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/news/carson/news-events

Carson National Forest Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CarsonNF/

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