Ojo de Los Casos Fire Burning Near Dog Head Fire Scar

Mountainair, NM – For Immediate Release – The Ojo de los Casos Fire started on the Mountainair Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest on Wednesday July 8, 2020 around 6:00 pm. It is located in Torrance County, roughly 7 miles southwest of the village of Chilili. Firefighters quickly responded with air support (water, fire retardant). With a slow in fire activity, ground resources were able to work through the night to construct fire line. As of this morning, the fire had reached an estimated 90 acres. The eastern spread slowed considerably as the fire reached the burn scar from the 2016 Dog Head Fire.

No evacuations or official closures have been issued at this time, however local residents are advised to be prepared. The Forest Service and New Mexico State Forestry are working together to suppress this fire that is currently burning on both Forest Service and private land.

Safety: Safety of the public and firefighters is always the top priority in wildland fire operations. Ojo de Los Casos Fire operations include best management practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within firefighter crews/operations and within the general public.

No Drone Zone: 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-25, and throughout the East Mountains and Estancia valley. 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. The fire area will be temporarily closed to fuelwood harvest for firefighter and public safety.

Ojo de Los Casos Fire Information: 505-369-6521, 2020.ojodeloscasos@firenet.gov

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6837/

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: Manzano Mountains

Date Reported: 7/8/2020

Cause: Unknown

Size: ~90 acres

Percent Contained: 0%

Fuel: Ponderosa pine, Slash

Resources assigned: 1 Type 3 Incident Management Team, 4 Interagency Hotshot Crews, multiple Engines, 1 Air Attack, multiple Helicopters and Airtankers, and various support personnel from the Cibola and cooperating agencies.

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