Cibola NF & National Grasslands – Fire Update- Moderate Fire Behavior Over Vics Peak Fire

Magdalena, NM – For Immediate Release – The lightning-caused Vics Peak Fire, burning on the Magdalena Ranger District, Cibola National Forest since June 15, has grown to 14,328 acres, with 24 personnel assigned.

Light to Moderate fire behavior continued over the Vicks Peak Fire yesterday.  The primary area of fire progression was north and west from West Blue Mountain, flanking and backing in the 1994 Coffee Pot Fire footprint. Limited aerial ignitions occurred in the evening in the near cub spring in an effort to mitigate high severity fire effects.  Today, fire crews will continue to focus efforts on constructing control features along Forest Roads and trails in the northwest fire area to protect range infrastructures, cultural sites and critical habitat within the fire perimeter. Crews will continue to evaluate the need for aerial firing.

Weather: Record heat to continue Sunday with an unstable airmass while mid-level moisture circulates into western New Mexico and a moist surface boundary sags into the northeast part of New Mexico.  A mix of wet and dry afternoon and evening thunderstorms could develop over the west and central mountain chain, as well as develop in the northeastern part of New Mexico.  The upper high will temporarily shift to the east early next week, allowing for a better chance of wetting showers and storms with a slight cooldown from high temperatures.

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-mile temporary 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, Teepee 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: 575-418-7875, 2020.vicspeak@firenet.gov

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

New Mexico Fire Information: http://www.nmfireinfo.com

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

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