Vics Peak Fire Burning in Apache Kid Wilderness

 

Magdalena, NM – For Immediate Release – A lightning-caused fire started on the Magdalena Ranger District of the Cibola National Foreston Monday June 15, 2020. The fire is burning in the Apache Kid Wilderness in the southern portion of the San Mateo Mountains. While firefighters monitored the fire, unexpected fire behavior led to a substantial growth Thursday night. The Albuquerque Zone Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire Saturday June 20. The fire has grown to an estimated 2,827 acres, with approximately 105 personnel assigned.

Incident objectives include protecting private property and National Forest critical values using a confine/contain and point protection emphasis. Tactics chosen to suppress this fire combine both indirect and direct fireline construction as weather, topography, and fire behavior allow.

Today, suppression actions are focused on keeping the fire north and west of Forest Road 225, west of FS Road 86, and east of FR 377. Fire activity within the Apache Kid Wilderness will be monitored, and actions will be focused on reducing the fire’s impact to values at risk including private property, utilities infrastructure, and natural resources. Aircraft have been and will continue to be used for the application of aerial fire retardant and water.

Weather: Hot, dry, and unstable conditions will prevail this weekend and into Monday. Critical fire weather conditions are possible on Monday across northwest New Mexico. Today will be mostly sunny with areas of smoke. Temperatures are expected to reach 89° F with winds 10 – 15 mph and no chance of precipitation. Tonight will be clear, up to 58° F, winds 10 – 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph, little change in humidity, and no chance of precipitation.

Safety: Safety of the public and firefighters is always the top priority in wildland fire operations. Vics Peak Fire operations include best management practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within firefighter crews/operations and within the general public.The public is reminded to avoid the use of unmanned aerial systems (drones) near wildfires. If drones are illegally flown over a fire, air operations could be suspended. When this happens, fire crews lose a valuable resource, which can adversely affect the safety and efficiency of the overall firefighting effort. Law enforcement can take action against a private citizen or commercial business illegally flying drones over a wildfire. For more information on drones, see https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/fire/uas/if-you-fly, and Know Before You Fly!

Smoke: Smoke may be visible from I-40, NM-1, and NM-107. Smoke will be monitored to assess potential health impacts, and the Forest Service will coordinate with the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the New Mexico Environment Department and Department of Health to issue any needed alerts. Additional information can be found at http://nmtracking.org/fire.

Closures: A 5-mile temporary flight restriction is in place over the fire for the safety of aviation and ground resources. Forest Road 225 will be closed along with all recreation trails leading into the Apache Kid Wilderness.   

Vics Peak Fire Information: 505-933-5682, 2020.vicspeak@firenet.gov

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6788/

New Mexico Fire Information: www.nmfireinfo.com

Facebook: Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands (@cibolanf) https://www.facebook.com/cibolanf/

Twitter: Cibola NF&Grasslands; (@Cibola_NF) https://twitter.com/cibola_nf?lang=en

Location: San Mateo Mountains

Date Reported: 6/15/2020

Cause: Lightning

Size: 2,827 acres

Percent Contained: 0

Fuel: Mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, pinyon/juniper, mahogany

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