Weather Puts Palmer and Ojitos Managed Fires on Hold

SANTA FE, NM – Sept. 26, 2017 – For Immediate Release.  Based on this week’s forecast for significant moisture across Northern New Mexico, fire managers on the Palmer and Ojitos Fires are temporarily halting operations.  A back door cold front is bringing rain and thunderstorms into the state with the potential to drop as much as three inches of precipitation on portions of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF).

Both the Palmer Fire on Rowe Mesa on the Pecos/Las Vegas Range District and the Ojitos Fire on the boundary of the Chama River Canyon Wilderness on the Coyote Ranger District were caused by lightning earlier this month. SFNF fire crews have been managing both fires, along with the recently completed Deer Creek Fire on the Jemez Ranger District, for resource benefit by adding low-intensity fire to the ground to mimic natural processes on fire-adapted landscapes like the SFNF.

The 1,034-acre Palmer Fire is still putting up some visible smoke from yesterday’s successful burnout operations. Smoke reported yesterday in the Stanley area was quickly dissipated by afternoon winds. Fire operations on the 3,306-acre Ojitos Fire have been dampened by weather since the weekend. Planned aerial ignitions on both fires are on hold based on weather forecasts for the rest of this week.

Crews will continue to monitor the Palmer and the Ojitos Fires. Fire managers may decide to continue operations on one or both of these fires when conditions are favorable.  As always, the first priority on both the Palmer and Ojitos Fires is firefighter and public safety.


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