Triple Nickle Fire – Mt. Taylor Ranger District, Cibola NF – August 20, 2019

Albuquerque Zone Incident Management Type 3 Team

Grants, NM; August 20, 2019 – For Immediate Release.  The Triple Nickle Fire, located in the San Mateo Mountains, on the Mt. Taylor Ranger District, is a lightning-caused fire that is being managed for resource benefit.  The fire has grown to an estimated 216 acres with approximately 100 personnel assigned.  The Albuquerque Zone Incident Management Type 3 Team arrived yesterday and is now in command of the fire.

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 relation to values while meeting land management objectives. Additional management actions will be further determined by fire activity, weather, and the progression of the fire.

Fire behavior is low to moderate and currently burning in Ponderosa Pine, grass, and brush. Today fire crews will focus on the protection of improvements and values at risk by removing vegetation to prepare for fire ignitions. Management of the fire promotes forest health and resilience while reducing the potential for future catastrophic wildfires.

Smoke will likely be visible from Highway 550 and Interstate 40, east and northeast of Grants. Smoke impacts may occur on Forest Roads #555, #239, and #51, particularly in the evening hours when temperatures cool.  Smoke will be monitored to assess potential health impacts and the Forest Service will coordinate with the New Mexico Environment Department and Department of Health to issue any needed alerts.  Additional information can be found at

For more information about the Triple Nickle Fire, please contact the Mt. Taylor Ranger District during regular business hours at 505-287-8833.  You may also visit the New Mexico Fire Information website at,, Twitter:@Cibola_NF, and

Triple Nickle Fire Statistics
Size: 216 acres
Location: near the junction of Forest Service Road 239 and 555
Cause: Lightning
Expected size: 1000 to 3000 acres, depending on weather

Triple Nickle Fire News Release 08/20/19 (PDF)

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