Cow Fire Update July 25, 2017

Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest

Start Date: July 18, 2017

Cause: Lightning struck a single standing dead tree (snag)

Size: 7 acres

Location: On the Pecos Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest, about 6 miles northeast of the village of Pecos near Cow Creek

Vegetation: The fire is in the burn scar from the 2000 Viveash Fire and is burning through dead and down timber and brush.

Current Situation: The Cow Fire received significant moisture last night but continues to move slowly downhill into the drainage, consuming heavy fuels in its wake and meeting resource objectives. Given the steep slopes and number of snags in the area, firefighter safety is a primary concern. Based on those risks and last night’s rain, the strategy is to continue to monitor the fire. A rocky area on the north side of the fire and green drainages to the east and west are helping hold the fire to the immediate area.

Weather: The moist atmosphere over New Mexico is bringing scattered to numerous thunderstorms over the state. Storms are generally drifting to the northeast at 10 to 15 mph, producing some locally heavy downpours.  A slight reduction in storms is expected in western New Mexico on Wednesday, but a weak backdoor front will shift the focus for storms to the northeastern part of the state.  Temperatures may cool a few degrees.

Smoke/Air Quality: Smoke from the Cow Fire may be visible from Cow Creek, the Pecos Valley, I-25 between Pecos and Las Vegas, and State Roads 50 and 63. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease 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

Fire Information: Updates will be posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at and on @SantaFeNF and For additional information, contact the Pecos Ranger District at 505.757.6121.

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