Operations Winding Down on the Triple Nickle Fire

Grants, NM; August 30, 2019 – For Immediate Release. The Triple Nickle Fire, located 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 7,250 acres with 124 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.

Fire crews continue to focus on identifying and protecting the values at risk within the planned fire area. Along with natural growth, firefighters are assisting 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.

Active ignitions are expected to finish by the end of today, and firefighters will spend the weekend mopping up hotspots and patrolling the fire perimeter. The Albuquerque Zone Incident Management Team will plan on transitioning command of the incident back to the Mt. Taylor Ranger District Type 4 organization on Monday. As fire operations decrease, crews and resources are expected to demobilize.

An alternate route for the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) was identified for the portion crossing the burn area. 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 7 miles and ties back in with the CDT a half mile north of Antelope Tank. Visitors should continue to utilize this re-route for safety purposes and to avoid interference with fire operations. The Mt. Taylor Ranger District will issue a notice when the burned area is safe for hikers to enter.

Smoke will continue to 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 https://nmtracking.org/environment/air/FireAndSmoke.html.

For more information about the Triple Nickle Fire, please contact the Mt. Taylor Ranger District at 505-287-8833. 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: 7,250 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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