Carson NF-New Wildfires on El Rito RD, July 15

Name: Francisquito

Date detected:  July 13

Cause:  Lightning

Location:  Carson NF, El Rito Ranger District, near FR 44 and FR 123

Size:  13 acres

Growth Potential:  low to moderate

Vegetation:  Ponderosa Pine and Mixed conifer

 

Name: Rincon

Date detected:  July 14

Cause:  Lightning

Location:  Carson NF, El Rito Ranger District, north of Francisquito tank

Size:  .65 acres

Growth Potential:  low to moderate

Vegetation:  Ponderosa Pine and Mixed conifer

Two small lightning caused fires, Francisquito and Rincon, were detected on July 13th and July 14th within close proximity of each other on the El Rito Ranger District of the Carson National Forest, approximately 7 miles north of the community of El Rito. The fires are creeping with low to moderate fire behavior and are not a threat to any values at risk. Both fires received precipitation yesterday.

Access to the fire is difficult so firefighters will be scouting the area today for opportunities to find roads or other natural barriers to use to confine the fire to a certain area. The forest just north of these fires already burned in 2018 as part of the Alamosa Prescribed Fire which will provide an opportunity to limit fire spread. A Type 2 Initial Attack crew, two dozers, and two heavy equipment operators have been ordered.

After taking into consideration the fire’s location, the fuels it is burning in, considerable green-up in the forest, and current and predicted precipitation, the Carson National Forest is considering managing these fires to achieve multiple resource benefits. The forest’s first priority is always firefighter and public safety. Allowing the fire to naturally thin the forest and take out the weaker, more diseased trees will improve forest health, range land, and wildlife habitat. Discussions are currently underway to determine the appropriate strategy given the current conditions.

Due to the location of the fire and its elevation, smoke may be visible from surrounding communities including Taos, Peñasco, Española, Abiquiu, and El Rito area. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with heart or respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. For information on air quality and protecting your health, please visit https://nmtracking.org/fire. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://facnm.org/smoke/ or contact the El Rito Ranger District 575-581-4554.

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