Burn Operations Continue on Triple Nickle Fire

Grants, NM; August 25, 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 to meet multiple resource objectives. The fire has grown to an estimated 4,101 acres with approximately 100 personnel assigned.

In order to reduce firefighter exposure, fire managers are utilizing a values-driven strategy which incorporates a mix of tactics that will result in a high probability of success and acceptable risk in relationship to the values being protected while meeting land management objectives.

Along with natural growth, firefighters are continuing to assist the Triple Nickle Fire’s progression with a combination of hand and aerial ignitions to apply low-to moderate-intensity fire primarily in a ponderosa pine forest. This effort aims to accomplish ecosystem restoration objectives through the reduction of hazardous fuels for the purpose of achieving long-term forest health, and resiliency to high-severity stand-replacing wildfire.

Monsoon season is generally associated with increased vegetative growth and fuel moisture. Higher fuel moistures have the potential to increase smoke output. Smoke will likely continue to 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 http://nmtracking.org/fire.

No forest closures have been issued at this time. An alternate route for the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) has been identified for the portion crossing the burn area. Visitors should utilize this re-route for safety purposes and to avoid interference with fire operations. The re-route starts where the CDT intersects with Forest Road (FR) 451. It follows FR 451 west for a mile to FR 239. It follows FR 239 north for approximately 7 miles and ties back in with the CDT a half mile north of Antelope Tank.

For more information about the Triple Nickle Fire, please contact the Mt. Taylor Ranger District during regular business hours at 505-287-8833. On weekends, please call 505-331-0553. You may also visit the New Mexico Fire Information website at https://nmfireinfo.com, Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6531/, Twitter at @Cibola_NF, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/cibolanf.


Triple Nickle Fire Statistics

Start Date: August 4, 2019
Size: 4,101 acres
Location: Near the junction of Forest Service Road 239 and 555
Cause: Lightning
Expected Size: 5,000 – 10,000 acres, depending on weather


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