Luna Fire Update: Oct. 20, 2020

Start date: Oct. 17, 2020              Cause: Unknown       

Size: 7,412 acres          Containment: 0%

Location:  Approximately 2 miles northeast of Chacon, NM, on the Camino Real Ranger District, Carson National Forest

Fuels:  Mixed conifer and spruce tapering to ponderosa pine at lower elevations.

Current status: Fire suppression efforts continue as the Luna Fire remains active in steep terrain.  An infrared flight conducted last night provided more precise data, decreasing the size of the fire from earlier estimates.

Resources:  The Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) currently in command of the fire has approximately 90 personnel on scene. Due to the complexity of the Luna Fire and values at risk, agency administrators from the Carson National Forest and New Mexico State Forestry Division ordered a Type 1 IMT expected to take command of the fire on Thursday.

Closures:  Members of the public should avoid Forest Road 76 and areas affected by the fire. Fire managers have implemented a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) to create a safety buffer for both ground and air crews. 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!”

Weather:  Dry, warm and unstable weather conditions will continue this week. Winds today will be 10 to 15 mph from the west with gusts up to 30 mph. A cold front is expected to move into the area tonight with cooler temperatures expected through Friday.

Evacuations:  Voluntary evacuations have occurred in the Luna Canyon area. There are no evacuation orders in place at this time.

Values at risk:  Values at risk include structures in the community of Chacon and forest service campgrounds along Forest Road 76, natural and cultural resources, downstream water users and water systems, and private land.

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 may be visible in the surrounding communities of Angel Fire, Black Lake, Guadalupita, Mora and Taos. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into the 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.

Fire updates are posted on the Carson National Forest website, New Mexico Fire Information website and Inciweb as well as the Carson National Forest Facebook page and Twitter @CarsonNF.

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