Luna Fire Update: Oct. 21, 2020

Start date: Oct. 17, 2020      Cause: Unknown             Size: 8,000 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: Firefighters are strengthening firelines for the Luna Fire in Frijoles Canyon and other areas before the weather changes tomorrow, which is expected to bring stronger winds. Crews are continuing fire suppression efforts to protect values at risk and assessing structure protection through community outreach.

Resources:  The Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) currently in command of the fire has approximately 138 personnel on scene. Two Type 1 Helicopters have been assigned to the Luna Fire.  Due to the complexity of the 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: A closure order is in effect prohibiting members of the public from entering the area around the Luna Fire, including all Forest Service lands, roads and trails affected by the fire The Temporary Flight Restriction over the fire remains in place. 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!”

Stage 1 fire restrictions will be implemented on the Carson National Forest starting at 8 a.m. on Oct. 23 to reduce the risk for human-caused wildfire under the current dry weather conditions.

Weather:  Very dry, warm weather conditions with zero percent chance of precipitation. Winds will be 7 to 11 mph.

Evacuations:  Voluntary evacuations have occurred in the Luna Canyon area. Cattle will be moved out of the canyons today.

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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