Carson NF- Montoya Springs Fire– September 7, 2019

Northern New Mexico Type 3 Incident Management Team

Jamie Long – Incident Commander

Fire Information: (575) 684-2489

Date detected: Thursday, August 29

Size: 2,550 acres

Cause: Lightning

Location: Carson NF, Canjilon Ranger District, 2 miles east of the community of Canjilon, NM

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

Resources: One Type 3 helicopter, four Type 6 engines and miscellaneous overhead

Current Status: After firefighters utilized aerial and hand ignitions yesterday, the Montoya Springs Fire increased to 2,550 acres. However, precipitation halted firing operations in the afternoon. If conditions allow, firefighters will continue interior aerial ignitions today.

Fire managers took advantage of the lightning-caused fire to reintroduce fire to the landscape to restore forest health and reduce the risk of future high-severity fire by reducing overgrown oak brush. Under the right conditions, fire helps break down nutrients and minerals in plants and other debris such as old logs and dense undergrowth and restores them to the soil. Nutrients are created by the recycling of burned material which enriches soils and stimulates growth. The desired result of the Montoya Springs fire is a mosaic of fire effects. New grasses, shrubs, and trees replenish and grow stronger. Wildlife habitats are improved and an increase in forage becomes available.

Visitors should use caution when traveling along the Continental Divide Trail going north from Highway 84 to Forest Road 559 as fire crews 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. The Montoya Springs Fire poses no danger to structures or local infrastructure. Firefighter and public safety are the number one priority.

Increased chances for wetting storms will continue throughout the weekend. Cooler overnight temperatures may cause smoke to settle within the communities of Canjilon and Placita Garcia as well as US Highway 84 and NM State Highway 115 overnight. Air quality is expected to remain good throughout the day and evening; however residences may want to close open windows to reduce the smell of smoke indoors. The daytime temperatures will heat the atmosphere and lift smoke out of the area. A link to the current smoke forecast is located here: https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/CanjilonNewMexico

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, visit https://nmtracking.org/fire. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://facnm.org/smoke#smokeanchor5.

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 https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6563/.

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