Successful Day Yesterday, Ignitions Continue Today

Name: Francisquito

Date detected: July 13

Cause: Lightning

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

Size: 1000 Acres

Growth Potential: Moderate

Vegetation: Ponderosa Pine and Mixed Conifer

 

The Francisquito Fire, located on the El Rito Ranger District of the Carson National Forest, is now approximately ­­­1000 acres in size.  Following a very wet winter and spring, conditions have been favorable in allowing officials to manage this fire for resource objectives.  These conditions have enabled firefighters to enter the area and do additional ignitions to clean-up a larger, predetermined area.  Yesterday, under near perfect weather conditions, firefighters were able to do just that.  They treated nearly 900 additional acres using hand crews as well as aerial (helicopter) resources to expand the fire area, consuming underbrush and ladder fuels that could contribute to the spread of wildfire.  Ignitions will continue today, expanding the area within the approximately 2000 acre predetermined perimeter based upon existing control features such as road systems and dozer line.

Smoke will continue to be very visible today.  Firefighters are working hard to ensure that the Francisquito fire poses no danger to any values or infrastructure within the area.

The Carson National Forest continues to look for opportunities to use lightning-caused fires to promote sustainable and resilient conditions in fire-adapted ecosystems by reducing fuel loading, which could later contribute to the spread of wildfire.  Using the current tactics (ignitions in a predetermined area following a natural start) helps reduce firefighter exposure.  It also provides opportunities to improve forest health by protecting the important values in the area including private property, wildlife habitat, range values and vital watersheds to area communities.

The Type 3 organization includes: One helicopter, two hot shot crews, three engines, a type 2 initial attack crew, two bull dozers and a grader, all with operators and bosses, along with several overhead fire managers are all part of the suppression efforts.  A total of 125 personnel are working on the Francisquito Fire.

Smoke will 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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