Rains bring shift in firefighting strategy

Medio Fire – August 29, 2020 Daily Update                                                       

Acres: 3,422 acres Start Date: August 17, 2020
Cause: Lightning

Containment: 54%

Total personnel: 283

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

Fuels: Dry mixed conifer, ponderosa pine


Highlights: Yesterday’s rain is limiting the size of burnout operations that were planned along the western flank. In response, crews will take a more direct suppression approach along the slow-moving fire’s edge.

Operations: During yesterday’s burnout operations, light white smoke was observed with a few areas that experienced higher intensity burning as the fire moved through small patches of mixed conifer. Late afternoon rains dampened fire activity along the western edge, allowing crews to complete a handline closer to the fire’s edge. A small spot fire was discovered along the northern perimeter near the Rio Nambe yesterday; ground crews and aviation assets will continue to assess and respond to this spot fire today. The fire is expected to continue to slowly burn through the remaining vegetation on the northeast into the 2011 Pacheco Fire burn scar. Existing containment lines along the southeast perimeter continue to hold. Containment along the southernmost perimeter has reduced the threat of the fire moving across the 102 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 https://facebook.com/santafeNF/. 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 2020.medio@firenet.gov. A recording will be posted immediately following the live meeting.

Weather:  Showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop once again this afternoon around the fire area. Temperatures will be slightly cooler today with an increase in humidity throughout the day as these storms develop. Expect gusty and erratic winds from thunderstorms during the afternoon.

Closures and Restrictions: Santa Fe County has implemented a burn ban. 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. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Medio Fire.

Smoke: Updated smoke and air quality information is available at https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/SantaFe. Less smoke is expected today due to the increased moisture from the recent rain. 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 https://www.env.nm.gov/air-quality/.

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7031/

Santa Fe National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/santafe/home

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/santafeNF/

New Mexico Fire Information: https://nmfireinfo.com/author/sfnfpao/

Interactive Map: https://arcg.is/1HK4WS

If You Fly, We Can’t: http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/

Media & Public Information Contact

Email: 2020.medio@firenet.gov

Phone: 505-663-6334

Hours: 8 am – 8 pm

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