Incoming weather tests firefighting efforts

Medio Fire – August 28, 2020 Daily Update                                                  

Acres: 3,166 acres Start Date: August 17, 2020
Cause: Lightning

Containment: 37%

Total personnel: 260

Location: Rio en Medio Trail, Española Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest

Fuels: Dry mixed conifer, ponderosa pine


Highlights: Thunderstorms, rain, and gusty outflow winds are expected to move into the area, which may delay backburning operations intended to secure the western perimeter of the Medio Fire.

Operations: Today, crews will focus on eliminating threats along the western flank of the fire by backing the fire slowly into the completed handline. Firefighters will complete burnout operations using both aerial and hand ignitions. Thunderstorms and rain are expected to move into the area today which may delay these operations. Along the Rio Nambe, crews completed backburning which helped stop the northern advance of the fire. The fire is expected to continue moving east into the burn scar from the 2011 Pacheco Fire. Existing containment lines along the southeast perimeter continue to hold. Firefighting efforts along Forest Road 102 have been successful in eliminating the threat of the fire moving across the road.

Community Meeting: The IMT hosted a virtual community meeting yesterday, with over 200 participants viewing the live video. A recording of the meeting is now available at No account is required to view the video. The next virtual community meeting will be held tonight at 6 pm on the Santa Fe National Forest’s Facebook page. American Sign Language interpretation and live-captioning services are provided. We will monitor online Facebook questions during the meeting, or you can email us your questions in advance at A recording will be posted immediately following the live meeting.

Weather: Expect hot and dry conditions to start the day before a cold front moves into the area in the early afternoon. Showers, thunderstorms and shifting winds will increase through the afternoon with frequent lightning possible.

Closures and Restrictions: Santa Fe County implemented a burn ban that goes into effect today. Stage 1 fire restrictions are still in effect on the Santa Fe National Forest to reduce the risk for human-caused wildfire under the current dry weather conditions. There is also a closure order in effect prohibiting members of the public from entering the restricted area, including all Forest Service lands, roads and trails, within an area that is roughly defined by the Rio Nambe Trail #160 on the north, the Borrego Trail #150 and Forest Road 412 on the east, Forest Road 102 on the south and back up the forest boundary line on the west to meet the Rio Nambe Trail #160. Fire managers are asking the public to exercise caution and avoid all areas that could be impacted by the Medio Fire.

Smoke: Updated smoke and air quality information is available at Santa Fe County issued an air quality alert on behalf of the New Mexico Departments of Health and Environment. The Medio Fire is expected to bring smoke into Santa Fe County through Friday morning. Communities that may see impacts include Rio en Medio, the Nambe, Pojoaque, and Tesuque Pueblos and surrounding communities. 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 at


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Phone: 505-663-6334

Hours: 8 am – 8 pm

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