Winds test Ojo de los Casos Fire lines

Mountainair, NM – For Immediate Release – Strong wind gusts yesterday tested fire lines constructed by fire crews over the past five days. Fire lines withstood the test, and the Ojo de los Casos fire is still at 180 acres and is now 50% contained. There is a 30% chance of rain expected today along with gusts of wind and potential lightning. 

Today, firefighters will continue conducting mop up, rehabilitation, and securing the fire’s edge. The structure crew will be scouting areas and positioned to respond to any threats. As fire activity decreases, crews will gradually be released from the fire.

Evacuations: No evacuation orders or official closures have been issued at this time. However, local residents are advised to be prepared. For more information on wildfire preparedness, visit the Torrance County webpage here, http://www.torrancecountynm.org/departments/emergency-mgmt.

Weather: Hot temperatures continue today, with temperatures again in the upper 80s and 90s and relative humidity in the teens. Winds will be from the west at 15-20 mph with gusts up to 30.  There is a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon.

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.

Drones: The public is reminded to avoid the use of unmanned aerial systems (drones) near wildfires. When drones are illegally flown over a fire, air operations can be suspended, and crews lose a valuable resource, which can adversely affect the safety and efficiency of the overall firefighting effort. For more information on drones, see https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/fire/uas/if-you-fly, and Know Before You Fly!

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: Human

Size: 180 acres

Percent Contained: 50%

Fuel: Ponderosa pine, Slash

Resources assigned: 1 Type 3 Incident Management Team, 3 Interagency Hotshot Crews, 6 Engines, 1 Air Attack, 3 Helicopters (Type 1, Type 2, Type 3), 2 Dozers, 1 Medical Screening Team, 1 Medical Decontamination Team, 1 Wildland Fire Module, and 2 Rapid Extraction Module.

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