Montoya Springs Fire Update, Sept. 3

Date detected: Thursday, August 29

Cause: Lightning

Size: 1.5 acres

Location: Carson NF, Canjilon Ranger District, located near Forest Road 724, 2 miles east of Canjilon, NM

Vegetation: Oak brush, grass, ponderosa pine, piñon and juniper

Resources: One Type 3 helicopter, three Type 6 engines, one Hotshot crew and miscellaneous overhead.

There will be an open house at the Canjilon Ranger District from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm today, Tuesday, September 3 to allow the public to come in and ask questions.

Current Status: The lightning-caused Montoya Springs Fire is currently in monitor status; however, given current conditions, including forecasted weather, and the location of the fire, fire managers will be using the Montoya Springs Fire to bring positive benefits to the landscape, including removing the dead and down fuels that have accumulated on the forest floor. The Carson National Forest is managing the lightning-caused Montoya Springs Fire by adding low-intensity fire to reduce fuel loadings and create a more fire-resilient landscape. Historically, low-intensity wildfires burned through southwestern dry conifer forests like the Carson National Forest every seven to 15 years as part of a natural cycle that removed leaf litter, eradicated disease and thinned the understory, making room for new growth and improving habitat for wildlife.

Using the current tactics (ignitions in a predetermined area following a natural start) will reduce firefighter exposure,

protect important values in the area including private property, wildlife habitat, range values and vital watersheds near local communities. Firefighter and public safety is always the first priority on all wildland fire incidents.

Today, fire crews will scout and prep Forest Road (FR) 724, FR 337 and private inholdings on the southwest side of the focus area. The Montoya Springs fire is burning within an old burn scar from the 2002 Montoya Fire. Smoke may be visible from the communities of Canjilon and Placita Garcia and also from US 84 and NM State Highway 115. No structures or other values are threatened.

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 https://nmtracking.org/fire. 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 https://facnm.org/smoke#smokeanchor5.

Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com, www.facebook.com/CarsonNF and Twitter @CarsonNF. For additional information about the Montoya Springs Fire, please contact the Canjilon Ranger District at (575) 684-2489.

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