Medio Fire Update Sept. 4, 2020: 90% Contained with Visible Smoke as Interior Pockets Continue to Burn

Start date: Aug. 17, 2020            
Cause: Lightning             
Size: 3,773 acres             
Containment: 90%

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

Current status:  This morning the Southwest Area Type 2 Incident Management Team 4 transferred command of the Medio Fire back to the Santa Fe National Forest, led by Type 4 Incident Commander John Armstrong. Aerial observation confirms that pockets of fuel in the interior continue to burn, putting out visible smoke but with limited potential to spread. Containment lines around the fire’s perimeter continue to hold.

Resources:  Santa Fe Hotshots, Silver City Hotshots, Santa Fe County Black Canyon Hand Crew, City of Santa Fe Atalaya Hand Crew, and two engines are on scene along with two helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft. Crews will be patrolling lines and monitoring fire behavior.

Weather: Above-normal temperatures continue today with daytime humidity falling into the mid-teens in many locations. Winds will be moderate from the west. Overnight humidity recoveries will be fair to moderate. Continued hot and dry conditions are expected to continue on Saturday with possible isolated showers and dry thunderstorms.

Values at risk: Nearby communities, Nambe Reservoir infrastructure, tribal and private inholdings, cultural resources, watersheds and riparian areas, power and phone lines, and grazing allotments.

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.

Smoke: Smoke from the Medio Fire is visible as interior pockets of fuel continue to burn. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ 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 https://nmtracking.org/fire.

Closures and Restrictions: The closure order remains in effect prohibiting members of the public from entering the area around the Medio Fire, including all Forest Service lands, roads and trails, 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. Stage 1 fire restrictions remain in effect on the Santa Fe National Forest to reduce the risk for human-caused wildfire due to dry weather conditions. The Santa Fe County burn ban remains in effect. The Temporary Flight Restriction over the fire area will remain in place.

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

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