Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands – Roberts Fire Implements Area Closures For Forest Roads, Trails and Campgrounds On the Magdalena Ranger District

Magdalena, NM; July 18, 2019 – For Immediate Release.  The Roberts Fire, in the Apache Kid Wilderness in the San Mateo Mountains, located on the Magdalena Ranger District, is a lightning caused fire that began July 13, 2019.  The fire perimeter has grown to 754 acres. There are approximately 148 personnel assigned.  Resources include two Wildland Fire Modules, one Type I Hot Shot crew, three Type 6 Engines, one dozer and one Type 3 Helicopter.

The fire continues to burn in Ponderosa Pine, mixed-conifer, grass, and brush in steep, terrain with limited access.  Fire behavior is moderate in intensity with occasional flanking, backing, and isolated uphill runs along ridge lines.  Pre-determined management areas have been and will continued to be identified as the fire continues to burn, so that it can be kept within established boundaries.

In order to reduce firefighter exposure, fire managers are utilizing a values-driven strategy which incorporates a mix of tactics when and where the probability of success is high and the risk is acceptable in relationship to values while meeting land management objectives.  Additional management actions will be further determined by fire activity, weather, and the progression of the fire, with the objective of returning fire back into the ecosystem.  Fire lines are being prepped for potential operations.

A temporary Area Closure Order has been issued for public use. National Forest System lands, roads, trails, and campgrounds within the closure area are closed including, but not limited to:  FR 86 from the northern National Forest boundary to the southern intersection with FR 225, FR 225 from the eastern National Forest boundary to the west and then south to Luna Park; FR 337 (Burma Road) from Township 9 South, Range 6 West, Section 34 to the north and then west to the National Forest boundary; FR 140 to the northern National Forest boundary; and FR 478 (West Red Canyon Road) north and east to National Forest boundaries.  Trail Closures are: Forest Trails 28, 31, 43, 44, 45, 49, 50, 61, 68, 69, 81, 87, and 90 and associated trailheads.  Campground Closures are: Springtime Campground and Luna Park Campgrounds and Apache Kid Wilderness area.

The weather calls for a more active monsoonal pattern to set up over the next several days.  A continuation of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms will move slowly over the fire perimeter though mid-week.  Erratic winds which could gust up to 50 mph will be possible near thunderstorms.  Smoke is visibility from New Mexico 52, New Mexico 107, and U.S. Highway 60 west of Magdalena, NM and I-25 south of Socorro, NM.  The fire size could increase as conditions dry out throughout the week with district closures likely to be implemented on Forest Roads and trails.

For more information about the Roberts Fire, please contact the Magdalena Ranger District during regular business hours at 575-854-2281.  You may also visit the New Mexico Fire Information website at https://nmfireinfo.com , https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6441/ Twitter:@Cibola_NF, and www.facebook.com/cibolanf

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