Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands – Roberts Fire at 1,597 Acres – Magdalena Ranger District

Magdalena, NM; July 19, 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 1,597 acres. There are approximately 136 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 along ridge lines.  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.

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.  Successful strategic firing operations were conducted yesterday on the fire, increasing overall fire acreage and activity within the fire perimeter.

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.

As drier air continues to filter in from the northwest, limited storm activity is forecast. Any isolated storms that do occur will likely start over the San Mateo Mountains and move south/southeast toward the fire, producing little if any precipitation.  Gusty winds will be the main concern from any nearby storms that develop.  Smoke is visible 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 throughout the weekend.

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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