Fire Managers Plan More Activity on Cueva Fire

SANTA FE, NM – Aug. 23, 2019 – A drying trend and increase in fire behavior have given fire managers on the Coyote Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) an opportunity to add additional acres to the Cueva Fire by using aerial ignitions as early as this evening to consume unburned fuels within the planning unit. Crews from New Mexico State Forestry will continue to work on securing the fire perimeter.

During this period, increased smoke will be visible and may impact surrounding areas. Fire managers from the Coyote Ranger District would like to thank the surrounding communities for their patience and understanding during the duration of the Cueva Fire.

Start date: August 6, 2019

Cause: Lightning

Location: French Mesa, located on the north end of the Coyote Ranger District, adjacent to Forest Road 8, north  of Gallina

Size: 1,169 acres

Fuels: Primarily ponderosa pine and pinon-juniper

Resources on scene: 2 New Mexico State Forestry IWC crews, Coyote Ranger District fire personnel

Current status: Crews will continue to monitor the fire’s progression within the planning area.

Weather: Partly cloudy with minimal chance of precipitation, winds out of the southwest at 6-10 mph and temperatures in the 80s. A warming and drying trend will continue through the weekend with monsoonal patterns expected to reappear next week.

Predicted smoke impact: An increase in smoke dispersed to the north-northeast of the fire, which may have potential impacts to US Highway 112 and Highway 96 as well as the communities of Lindrith, Llaves, Abiquiu and Gallina. Rio Gallina and Rio Chama may also be impacted. Smoke may also be visible from Tierra Amarilla, El Vado and Canjilon.

Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at People with health concerns can also call NMDOH at 505-827-0006 for additional information. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to

Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at, and Twitter @SantafeNF. For additional information about the Cueva Fire, please contact the Coyote Ranger District at 575-638-5526.


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