July 23, 2017

Start Date: July 18, 2017

Cause: Lightning struck a single standing dead tree (snag). The fire subsequently spread into surrounding dead and down timber and brush.

Size: 256 acres

Location: Peggy Mesa, approximately 2 miles northwest of the Gilman Tunnels on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest

Vegetation: Piñon pines, juniper, ponderosa pine and oak scrub brush

Current Situation: Crews continued blacklining the perimeter of the Peggy Fire over the weekend. Fire activity was low to moderate throughout the day Saturday until about 5:30 p.m. when a storm cell brought much stronger winds out of the north, drastically increasing fire activity and pushing the fire to the south.  The winds also helped create the very visible smoke column in the late afternoon.  The blacklining that crews had worked on over the past several days held the fire in spite of the dramatic shift in wind direction and speed.  Today, crews on scene continued to blackline the perimeter and look for spot fires.

Historically, low-intensity wildfires burned through southwestern forests like the SFNF every seven to 15 years as part of a natural cycle that removed leaf litter, eradicated disease and thinned the understory, making room for new growth. The lightning-caused Peggy Fire is restoring fire to the landscape and is expected to provide significant resource benefit, including improved forest health and habitat diversity and a reduced risk of future catastrophic wildfire.

Weather: Monsoonal weather patterns are expected to continue with widespread showers and thunderstorms in the afternoons and evenings.

Smoke/Air Quality: Smoke from the Peggy Fire continues to be visible and may impact Gilman and Jemez Pueblo. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are reminded to take precautionary measures.  Air quality information and health protection measures are available online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website:  https://nmtracking.org/fire.

Fire Information:  Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at nmfireinfo.com and on @SantaFeNF and www.facebook.com/SantaFeNF. Additional information can be obtained from the Jemez Ranger District at 575-829-3535.

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