Carson NF- Montoya Springs Fire– September 5, 2019

Northern New Mexico Type 3 Incident Management Team

Jamie Long – Incident Commander

Fire Information: (575) 684-2489

Date detected: Thursday, August 29

Size: 350 acres

Cause: Lightning

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

Current Status: Yesterday the Montoya Springs Fire increased to approximately 350 acres, mainly due to hand ignitions along the northern edge of the fire line.  Firefighters completed preparation of indirect line along Forest Road (FR) 724, FR 337 and private inholdings on the southwest side of the fire. The indirect line utilizes old roads, trail systems, and natural barriers providing a location where firefighters can safely engage the fire with a high probability of success.  Firefighter and public safety are the number one priority.

The fire is burning within an old burn scar from the 2002 Montoya Fire, which has been overgrown with oak brush.  Today fire crews will continue firing operations between the main fire and the northwest edge.  By combining the use of ground and aerial ignitions, fire managers hope to eliminate the overgrown oak brush and dead and down fuels that have accumulated on the forest floor to create a more fire-resilient landscape.

Visitors should use caution when traveling along the Continental Divide Trail going north from Highway 84 to Forest Road 559 as fire crew continue to work in the area.  Hikers are highly encouraged to seek alternative routes on this section in the next few days as fire operations continue and smoke increases.

Ignitions will cause an increase in smoke over the 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 heart or respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. For information on air quality and protecting your health, please visit For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to

Fire Weather Forecast: Few thunderstorms are expected this afternoon with very little wetting rainfall.  Prevailing breezes will be light to moderate with gusty outflows from any thunderstorms.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire. Unauthorized use of manned and unmanned aircraft (also known as “drones”) in a fire area endangers the lives of pilots and firefighters and is strictly forbidden.

For more fire information visit InciWeb at



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