Naranjo Fire July 6 Update

Start date: July 1

Cause: Lightning

Size: 20 acres

Location: Cuba Ranger District on the Santa Fe National Forest approximately 2 miles southeast of Regina, NM, off of NM State Highway 96

Containment: 0%

Fuel: Ponderosa pine

Weather: Mostly cloudy with 20% chance of showers, temperatures between 73-80 degrees, winds from the southwest at 5-10 miles per hour and 25-29% humidity

Resources assigned: Type 3 incident management team, 95 personnel, one type 1 crew, two type 2IA crews, one type 3 engine, two dozers, one type 3 helicopter, four UTVs and two ATVs

Situation: Based on current and forecasted conditions, fire managers have determined that the Naranjo Fire is a good opportunity to use a natural ignition to achieve significant benefits on the ground, including improved forest health, reduced fuel loadings and improved wildlife habitat for elk and deer.

Fire behavior is low to moderate with flame lengths between 6 inches to 1 foot. Firefighters have identified containment lines, and crews will be prepping the lines over the next two to four days to prepare for adding low-intensity fire to the landscape to treat up to 1,070 acres.

Historically, low-intensity wildfires burned through southwestern dry conifer forests like the SFNF every seven to 15 years on average as part of a natural cycle that removed leaf litter, eradicated disease and thinned the understory, making room for new growth.  Managing a lightning-caused ignition like the Naranjo Fire mimics that natural process and helps reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire by reducing fine fuels and debris on the forest floor.

The public is advised to avoid Forest Roads 96 and 30 and the San Jose Trail and Trailhead during fire operations.

Smoke will likely be visible from US Highway 550, NM Highway 96, and the communities of Cuba, Regina and La Jara.  Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at https://nmtracking.org/fire. People with health concerns can also call NMDOH at 505-827-0006 for additional information.  For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://facnm.org/smoke#smokeanchor5.

Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com, www.facebook.com/SantaFeNF and Twitter @SantafeNF.  For additional information about the prescribed burn, please contact the Cuba Ranger District at 575-289-3264.

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