Caja Fire Update Aug. 25, 2020

Start date: Aug. 23, 2020         

Cause: Presumed to be lightning           

Size: Approximately 600 acres

Location: Colorado Peak on the Caja del Rio Plateau, Española Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF)

Containment: 10%

Fuels and fire behavior:  Fire behavior today is low to moderate with limited single-tree torching in the fire’s interior. Fire managers on site said much of the fire’s footprint is smoldering as a result of yesterday’s rain, which is helping crews keep the Caja Fire in check.

Resources: Approximately 30 personnel are on scene, including three engines and a dozer.

Weather: Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected through the night with a 60% chance of precipitation. As an upper level high pressure center shifts from the Four Corners eastward, the Santa Fe area may experience poor ventilation, causing the smoke and haze from multiple fires to linger.   

Values at risk: There are no immediate values at risk, although natural and cultural resources and a powerline are in proximity. Two cultural resource advisors are assigned to the fire.

Strategy: The strategy for the Caja Fire is full suppression. Firefighters are tying handline to natural and manmade barriers, including the two-track road, to secure the Caja Fire’s perimeter.  The dozer is punching line on the east side of the fire to help protect the powerline.

Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public are always the first priority. Firefighters are conducting operations under protocols to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. Members of the public should stay away from fire operations and staging areas.  Drones pose a serious risk to firefighting and can cause air operations to cease. The public is reminded that “If you fly, we can’t!”

Smoke from the Caja Fire is likely to be visible from Santa Fe to Los Alamos and along the I-25 corridor and the 599 Bypass, mingling with smoke from the Medio Fire and multiple fires burning in adjacent states. An interactive smoke map at allows you to zoom into the Santa Fe area to see the latest smoke information. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at

Fire updates will be posted on the SFNF website, New Mexico Fire Information website and on the Santa Fe National Forest Facebook page and Twitter @SantafeNF.

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