Weather Conditions Cooperate for Aerial Ignitions on Vics Peak Fire

Magdalena, NM – For Immediate Release – The lightning-caused Vics Peak fire started on the Magdalena Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest on Monday June 15, 2020. The fire is burning in the Apache Kid Wilderness in the southern portion of the San Mateo Mountains. The fire has grown to an estimated 3,785 acres, with 105 personnel assigned.

Today, weather and fuel conditions are expected to be optimal for aerial ignitions, which are planned to protect multiple values at risk. Some of these include San Mateo Lookout, Pankey Mine, forest infrastructure and utilities, and nesting habitat for the threatened Mexican spotted owl. Firefighters are working to keep the fire off adjacent private land and inholdings. They will continue to monitor and improve containment lines along the road system.

Closed roads and trails will be signed and/or barricaded for safety of both the public and firefighters.

Weather: Another warm to hot, dry, and unstable day is forecast for later today. Temperatures over the fire are predicted to reach 87° F, with winds increasing in the afternoon to the mid-teens. Changes are expected Monday night as a moist cold front approaches. Along with cooler temperatures and shifting winds, this cold front will set the stage for increased shower and thunderstorm activity by Tuesday afternoon.

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 transmission 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. For more information on drones, see, and Know Before You Fly!

Smoke: The New Mexico State Air Quality bureau is in cooperation with the incident management team and is deploying an air quality monitoring device in Socorro, NM to assess potential health impacts. Smoke will continue to be visible from I-25, NM-1, and NM-107. 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

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

Vics Peak Fire Information: 505-933-5682,


New Mexico Fire Information:

Facebook: Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands (@cibolanf)

Twitter: Cibola NF&Grasslands; (@Cibola_NF)

Location: San Mateo Mountains

Date Reported: 6/15/2020

Cause: Lightning

Size: 3,785

Percent Contained: 0

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

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