Fire Activity and Size to Increase on the Francisquito Fire

Name: Francisquito

Date detected: July 13

Cause: Lightning

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

Size: 20 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: 1 Acre

Growth Potential: low to moderate    Vegetation: Ponderosa Pine and Mixed conifer

The Francisquito and Rincon Fires, both located on the El Rito Ranger District of the Carson National Forest, remain at about 21 acres total.  Fire behavior has been low to moderate as the fires continue to creep and smolder in the dense underbrush.  The Francisquito and Rincon Fires pose no danger to any values or infrastructure within the area.

Gradual fire growth can be expected as the fire creeps naturally, but residents and travelers can expect smoke volumes to increase today and especially tomorrow, as firefighters enter the area and increase burning activity in order to mimic natural fire conditions.  Pre-determined management areas have been and will continue to be identified as the fire continues to burn, so that it can be kept within established boundaries.  The 2018 Alamosa Prescribed burn may assist managers by providing a good area to limit the fire’s spread.  Additional management actions, including burning (both ground and aerial ignitions) in the next several days, will be further determined by fire activity, weather, and the progression of the fire.

The Carson National Forest is working hard to use lightning-caused fires to achieve many resource objectives.  A values-driven strategy is being implemented on these fires which allows fire managers to incorporate different tactics to accomplish desired results.  These tactics help reduce firefighter exposure while increasing the probability of meeting predetermined desired effects in relationship to values at risk.  This assists the Forest in meeting land management objectives and managing these fires with the primary objective of returning natural fire back into this fire-adapted ecosystem.

One Hot Shot Crew, three engines, a Type 2 Initial Attack crew, two bull dozers and a grader, all with operators and bosses and several overhead fire managers are all part of the suppression efforts.

Due to the location and elevation of the fires, smoke may be visible from surrounding communities including Taos, Peñasco, Española, Abiquiu, and El Rito areas. 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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