Carson NF- Montoya Springs Fire– September 8, 2019

Northern New Mexico Type 3 Incident Management Team

Jamie Long – Incident Commander

Fire Information: (575) 684-2489

Date detected: Thursday, August 29

Size: 2,950 acres

Cause: Lightning

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

Containment: 75%

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

Resources: Four Type 6 engines and miscellaneous overhead, 31 total personnel

Current Status: The Montoya Springs Fire increased to 2,950 acres after yesterday’s aerial and hand ignition operations. After a couple of rounds of precipitation over the fire area yesterday, fire behavior decreased and assessments were made to determine the best course of action to be taken over the next few days. Due to weather and moderate fire behavior, aerial ignitions were not meeting desired effects and the Type 3 helicopter was released from the fire. If weather conditions are conducive to meeting objectives, firefighters will continue hand ignitions today.

Fire managers are taking advantage of weather and fuel conditions by directing the fire in a manner which will reduce the overgrown oak brush from the 2002 Montoya Fire burn scar, improve rangelands, wildlife habitat and forest health, as well as protect watershed and cultural resources.

Although the Continental Divide Trail remains open during this incident, visitors should use caution when hiking along the trail going north from Highway 84 to Forest Road 559 as fire crews continue to work in the area. Hikers may seek alternative routes on this section in the next few days to avoid fire operations and smoke. The Montoya Springs Fire poses no danger to structures or local infrastructure. Firefighter and public safety are the number one priority.

Increased chances for widespread showers and thunderstorms are predicted for this afternoon and may continue into the week. Temperature inversions will force cold air down into the lower atmosphere overnight and may cause smoke to settle within the communities of Canjilon and Placita Garcia as well as US Highway 84 and NM State Highway 115. The daytime temperatures will heat the earth’s surface and warm air will lift smoke out of the area usually by mid-morning.  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.

For more fire information visit InciWeb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6563/.

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