Morris Creek Fire – Colfax County – 07/05/18

Monsoon Rains Forecast Over Morris Creek Fire Area

Tuesday, July 5, 2018

Morris Canyon Fire Information Phone

(575) 383 4597

Location: 15 miles west of Miami, New Mexico, in Colfax county

Start Date: June 29, 2018   Cause: Lightning

Size: Approximately 1,604 Acres   Percent Contained: 40%

Vegetation: Timber, closed timber litter, grass   Resources Assigned: 260 personnel

Incident Commander: Alan Sinclair Type 2 SW Incident Management Team #3 Incident Commander

Summary: The Morris Creek fire, burning on the UU Bar Ranch, Philmont Scout Ranch and State Land, has not grown substantially during the last three days.  Much of the lack of growth has been due to fire fighters hard work and favorable weather conditions.

Firefighters yesterday focused on the very rough terrain of the north perimeter edge.  The steep rocky topography located there has made it impossible to safely establish fire line.  As a result, firefighters have defended the north perimeter by closely monitoring with reinforcement by helicopter water drops as needed.  A hose lay was completed on the established bulldozer line to the canyon rim on the north east.  These actions have allowed firefighters to suppress spot fires and continue to keep the fire from moving into the Rayado drainage.

Today firefighters anticipate dealing with thunderstorms, associated lightning, and possible flooding which represent significant safety concerns.  Suppression tactics will focus on continuing to keep the fire from moving north into the Rayado drainage by patrolling and close monitoring.  Other portions of the fire’s control lines will be reinforced and improved.

Incident meteorologist Robert Rickey today said: “Weather conditions have shifted over the last two weeks setting up for a large influx of moisture from Gulf of Mexico. Although we have been in the monsoon season since June 21st, the normal pulse of moisture this area receives from the Mexican monsoon is right on time for its traditional beginning. We expect substantial chances for significant rain Thursday afternoon and through the weekend, which could cause flooding downstream of soils burned during the Ute Park and Morris Canyon fires.  Downstream residents should watch closely for developing thunderstorms over the fire scars.”

Incident Commander Alan Sinclair stated: “I respect Philmont Scout Ranch leadership’s decision to close the back country for the season. Their decision aligns with our incident objectives to provide safety for the public and fire fighters due to changing environmental factors related to extensive back country standing dead trees, burned slopes, and likely monsoonal flooding.”

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