Oct. 8 Update: Colorado 2 Fire, Mt Taylor Ranger District

Albuquerque, NM, October 8, 2020

Start date: October 5, 2020

Cause: Under Investigation

Size: Approximately 250 acres

Location: Colorado Canyon, San Mateo Mountains.
Colorado 2 Fire is east of NFSR 239, south of NFSR 453 and north of Mt Taylor.

Containment: 30% containment. Firefighters have stopped progression and continue to improve the containment fire lines.

Fuels and fire behavior: The Colorado 2 Fire is exhibiting moderate fire behavior with isolated torching.

Weather: Above normal temperatures with humidity around 5-9%, mostly sunny and extreme drought conditions. West winds are 5-9 mph with occasional gusts of 14 mph.  

Resources on scene: Firefighters from the Cibola National Forest, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Geronimo Hot Shots. Cibola County & McKinley County water tenders and Cibola County Sheriff. Additional resources include aerial resources.

Values at risk: Mexican spotted owl habitat, rangeland infrastructure, Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and cultural resources. At this time, the fire is not a threat to any communities, and there are no evacuations in effect.

Strategy: As part of the full suppression strategy for the Colorado 2 Fire, firefighters are using natural and manmade barriers, including road systems. Crews today continue to secure the edges and mop up to make sure the containment lines remain secure.

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.

Continental Divide Trail will be rerouted to NFSR 451B, 451 and 239

Closure Order (03-0701): has been issued effective on October 8th, 2020, and shall remain in effect until October 31, 2020, or until rescinded, whichever occurs first. The Restricted Area is specifically all lands within the area of the described boundary, starting at the intersection of FSR 456 and 239. Following FSR 239 south to the intersection of FSR 239 and FSR 451. Following FSR 451 east to the intersection of FSR 451 and FSR 453. Turn north following FSR 453 to the intersection of FSR 51. Following FSR 51 north and northwest back to FSR 239. Then following FSR 239 to the beginning, at the intersection of FSR 456 and FSR 239. As depicted in Exhibit A map of this Order.

Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 551 and 36 C.F.R. § 261.50(a), the following acts are prohibited within the area described in this Order (the “Restricted Area”) and as depicted on the attached map, hereby incorporated into this Order as Exhibit A, within the Mt. Taylor Ranger District, Cibola National Forest, Cibola County, New Mexico.

  1. Going into or being upon the prohibited area which is closed for public health and safety.

36 C.F.R. § 261.53(e).

Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. § 261.50(e), the following persons are exempt from this Order:

  1. Persons with a written Forest Service authorization specifically exempting them from the effect of this Order.
  2. Any Federal, State, or Local Officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting resource in the performance of an official duty.
  3. Grazing permittees will be allowed access to the restricted area, but need coordinate with fire operations, upon entry.

Any violation of this prohibition is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both (see 16 U.S.C. § 551, 18 U.S.C. § 3571(b)(6), 18 U.S.C. § 3581 (b)(7)).

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 is likely to be visible within a 10-20 miles radius of the Colorado 2 Fire. 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. Fire updates will be posted on the Cibola NF & NGs website, Cibola NF & NGs Facebook page and NM Fire Information website

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