Firing Operations Aim to Protect Rio Pueblo Watershed

Location:  Carson NF, Camino Real RD, between the Amole Group Shelter and FR 442

Date detected: September 2        Cause:  Lightning

Size:  Approximately 1150 acres     Fire behavior: Low to Moderate

Vegetation:  Ponderosa pine, mixed conifer

Resources: 108 total personnel

Taos, NM – Sept. 13, 2019 – Firefighters continued firing operations yesterday. Hand and aerial ignitions were used to successfully treat an additional 500 acres of the 2123 acre focus area south of the Amole Canyon Road (Forest Road 703).

Today firefighters will implement a test fire on the south facing slopes in the remaining unburned focus area.  If the test fire is favorable then hand and aerial firing operations will proceed as conditions permit.

The Rio Pueblo is an important watershed within the Taos area.  Area farmers, ranchers, growers and others depend on this water source.  The managed Amole Fire is critical to protect this watershed.  High intensity fires can be detrimental to watersheds.  Low-intensity managed fires such as the Amole Fire protect watersheds and the water quality and quantity that downstream users depend on.

Highway 518 is open.  Motorists traveling Highway 518 between the U.S. Hill scenic overlook and the intersection of Highway 518 and Highway 75 (the Rock Wall) could be impacted by smoke.  Drivers should use caution due to increased fire traffic and firefighters working along the roadway.

A temporary area closure is in effect (#02-469) in the area surrounding the Amole fire to provide for firefighter and public safety. The Amole Canyon and Tio Maes trail systems are within the closure area and use of these trails is not allowed.  All other forest trails are available for recreation. The closure order and map are available online at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6589/.

Taos, Taos Canyon and the communities of Valle Escondido, Angel Fire, Rio Lucio, Chacon and Dixon could be impacted by smoke in the early afternoon and evening dependent on wind direction. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with heart or respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. For information on air quality and your health, please visit https://nmtracking.org/fire. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://facnm.org/smoke#smokeanchor5 or contact the Carson National Forest Supervisor’s Office at 575-758-6200.

For more information visit or call the Camino Real Ranger District at 575-587-2255 or go to https://nmfireinfo.com, https://inciweb.nwcg.com, www.fs.usda.gov/carson.

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