Elevated Fire Weather May Increase Activity on Vics Peak Fire Today

Magdalena, NM – For Immediate Release – The lightning-caused Vics Peak Fire, burning on the Magdalena Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest since June 15, has grown to 8,072 acres, with 165 personnel assigned.

Dry thunderstorm activity will continue today over the fire area. Outflow drafts from these storms could cause gusty and erratic winds, leading to an increase in fire behavior. Areas of the fire with low activity could become more active today. Focus remains on the values at risk, with protection of private land at the forefront. The fire area is also home to the Mexican spotted owl, a Threatened species listed under the Endangered Species Act. Activities are planned to prevent potential stand-replacing fire from entering nest sites and protected habitat. The containment on Forest Road 225 will continue to be staffed and monitored. The Red Canyon containment line between Forest Roads 478 and 331 has been completed, and crews will be improving that line today.

Weather: Elevated fire weather with scattered dry lightning and thunderstorms is expected. Today will be partly cloudy with increasing afternoon buildups, isolated storms, and gusty winds. Temperatures will reach ~84°F, and humidity will be 13-17%. Strong and erratic outflow winds are possible from storms. Ridgetop/midslope winds will be west/northwest 10-17 mph, with afternoon gusts 25-30 mph. Tonight will be partly cloudy, low of ~60°F on slopes, with northwest winds 10-15 mph. The Haines index will be 5 (Moderate) today and tonight.

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. Medical teams have been placed near all crew camps and operational work areas to support firefighters.The public is reminded to avoid the use of unmanned aerial systems (drones) near wildfires (https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/fire/uas/if-you-fly).

Smoke: Smoke over the fire area has been moderate and 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 http://nmtracking.org/fire.

Closures: A 10-miletemporary flight restriction remains in place around San Mateo Peak for the safety of all aircraft and ground resources. Forest Road 225, Springtime Campground, Luna Park Campground, and the following trails leading into Apache Kid Wilderness remain closed to the public: Apache Kid, Teepe Peak, Cowboy, Smith, Drift Fence, Milo, Nave, Coffee Pot, Post, Cold Spring, Maverick, San Mateo, Skeleton Ridge, Indian Creek, and Shipman.

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: 8,072 acres

Percent Contained: 5%

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

Resources assigned: 1 Type 3 Incident Management Team, 4 Type 6 Engines, 2 Interagency Hotshot Crews, 2 Type 2 Initial Attack Crew, 1 Wildland Fire Module, 1 Air Attack, 1 Type 3 Helicopter, 7 Smoke Jumpers, Road Crew, Fireline Paramedics, 2 Rapid Extraction Modules, 1 Medical Screening Team, 1 Medical Decontamination Team.

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