Isolated Torching Continues to Challenge Firefighters on the Seco Fire

August 9, 2020 Update

Location: 3 Mi SE of Mt. Taylor Cause: Unknown Percent Contained: 14%
Date Reported: 8/3/2020

Personnel: 127

Size: ~21.1 acres Fuel: Mixed Conifer and Ponderosa pine
Resources assigned: 1 Type 3 Incident Management Team, 2 Type 2 IA Crews, 2 Engines, 2 Fire modules, 1 Air Attack, 1 Helicopter, 3 water tender and various support personnel from the Cibola NF and cooperating agencies.


Grants, NM – For Immediate Release – Hard work continues on the Seco Fire burning on the Mt. Taylor Ranger District. Although not super active on most parts of the fire, isolated torching (the burning of the foliage of a single tree or a small group of trees, from the bottom up) continues to pose challenges for firefighters. Yesterday this torching caused 2 spot fires (fire ignited outside the perimeter of the main fire by a firebrand). Crews quickly responded and were able to get line around these spots. These spot fires and slight growth along with more accurate GPS readings have contributed to the drop in containment to 14%.  Today crews will continue reinforcing containment lines while using helicopter bucket drops to cool hot spots within the perimeter. Possible afternoon thunderstorms continue to pose risks to firefighters as they can bring erratic winds to the area.

The incident management team is working to fully suppress this fire burning on Forest Service land and is working closely with local cooperators.

Weather: Partly cloudy in the morning with a 20% chance of scattered showers in the afternoon. Temperatures around 80°-82° with humidity in the upper teens. Winds will be from the northwest at 5-7 mph.

Safety: Safety of the public and firefighters is always the top priority in wildland fire operations. Seco 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, and Know Before You Fly!

Smoke: Smoke may be visible from I-40, and throughout the local area including the Laguna Reservation. Smoke may be monitored if necessary 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

Closures: There are currently no closures in place but the public is asked to stay out of the fire area as there is heavy fire traffic. There is a 5-mile temporary flight restriction (TFR) over the fire area to protect pilots and firefighters.

Seco Fire Information: 505-506-1959,


New Mexico Fire Information:

Facebook: Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands (@cibolanf)

Twitter: Cibola NF&Grasslands; (@Cibola_NF)


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