Smoke may increase as burnouts resume

Medio Fire – August 31, 2020 Daily Update                                             

Acres: 3,453 acres Start Date: August 17, 2020
Cause: Lightning

Containment: 55%

Total personnel: 255

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

Fuels: Dry mixed conifer, ponderosa pine


Highlights: Warmer temperatures this afternoon may allow crews to use aerial ignition to bring low intensity fire toward the completed handline to secure the western side. Smoke may become increasingly visible as firefighters attempt to resume these critical burnout operations.

Operations: Today, firefighters are working together to determine the best conditions, timing, and location to bring the fire to the handline on the western side. As it warms up, heavy fuels should dry out and reignite, allowing burnout operations to continue. Yesterday, there were no burning operations and no new fire growth as a result of wetter conditions. Crews worked to repair suppression handlines and build waterbars to prevent erosion and slow the flow of future rains. Handlines near the Rio en Medio Trail were camouflaged to avoid being mistaken as recreational trails. Suppression repair also took place on the northern side of the fire. Crews assessed the potential for fire to move through the Pacheco burn scar through unburned logs and remaining canopy, and determined that a lack of ground fuels would limit the threat of fire escaping through this area. Chipping operations along Forest Road 102 were completed yesterday; today the road will be bladed as part of continued suppression repair efforts. Due to successful firefighting efforts, the incident management team (IMT) will continue to demobilize resources this week.

Community Meeting: The IMT hosted a virtual community meeting yesterday, with over 150 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.

Closures and Restrictions: The closure order remains 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. Despite the reduction in smoke, the Medio Fire is still active and the public should continue to exercise caution and avoid all areas that could be impacted by the Medio Fire. Stage 1 fire restrictions remain in effect on the Santa Fe National Forest to reduce the risk for human-caused wildfire under the current dry weather conditions. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the fire area. Santa Fe County has a burn ban currently in effect.

Smoke: Updated smoke and air quality information is available at Smoke will likely increase when firing operations resume. 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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