Cibola NF & National Grasslands – Fire Update – Monsoon Moisture Developing 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 14,624 acres, with 31 personnel assigned.

Light fire behavior was observed over the Vicks Peak Fire yesterday.  The primary area of fire progression remains west from West Blue Mountain into the head of Kelly Canyon, Post Canyon and north towards Coffee Pot Canyon backing and creeping in the 1994 Coffee Pot Fire footprint.  Today, fire crews will focus efforts on completing constructing control features along Forest Roads and trails to limit future fire progression to the north and west.

Weather: The heat continues today with an unstable atmosphere in place and the potential for more lighting starts given a mix of wet and dry storms. With high pressure to the east of the state on Thursday, monsoon moisture will increase over the area and result in a decent round of wetting storms.  Going forward through early next week, daily rounds of wetting storms with temperatures at or slightly above normal will be the rule as plenty of moisture remains in place.

Safety:  Given the predicted weather and potential for monsoon moisture there is an increased daily chance of flooding in and around the fire area.  The effects from this has the potential to be seen through Monticello and San Mateo Drainages as well throughout the San Mateo Mountains.  In the fire area the 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 crews/operations and 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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