Crews Monitor Conditions, Continue Hand Ignitions on Cuervito Fire

SANTA FE, NM – May 15, 2021 – Crews are monitoring fire behavior and weather conditions on the Cuervito Fire on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) as they continue to blackline the northern end of the fire and along Forest Road (FR) 200 on the east. The SFNF is managing the lightning-caused Cuervito Fire to reintroduce low-intensity fire back into a primarily fire-adapted ecosystem and reduce the hazardous build-up of heavy and overgrown vegetation.

Location: 9 miles east of Pecos and 3 miles southwest of the Barillas Lookout on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District

Start Date:  May 9, 2021

Size:  Approximately 350 acres with the potential for approximately 1,600 acres

Cause:  Lightning

Resources Assigned:  4 hand crews, 5 engines, 2 dozers, 1 masticator, 1 water tender and 1 type 3 helicopter

Fuels:  Ponderosa pine, piñon-juniper, Douglas fir and oak brush

Operations:  Today crews added low-intensity fire along Forest Road (FR) 200 to FR 200J on the eastern side of the Cuervito Fire. Firefighters on the north side along FR 81 are using hand ignitions to increase depth along the dozer line. When conditions are optimal, the team will begin aerial ignitions along the ridgeline to encourage the fire to back down the slope and clear the woody debris on the forest floor. The plan is to keep the fire west of Sebadilla Creek, east of Apache Canyon, south of FR 81FD, and north of FR 81AA and 200H.

Weather: Tonight, partly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the evening. There is a 20% chance of precipitation for the burn area. Temperatures range from 43 degrees to 47 degrees. Winds are out of the southwest at 5 to 14 mph with gusty and erratic winds expected near thunderstorms.  

Values at risk:  Firefighter and public safety is always the number-one priority for the IMT. Values at risk include private property nearby.

Smoke:  Smoke management is a key part of the planning and implementation of managed wildfire. Smoke from the Cuervito Firemay impact the communities of Santa Fe, Pecos, Las Vegas, Rowe, Glorieta, La Cueva, North and South San Ysidro, Ilfeld, San Jose, San Juan, Tecolote, Soham, Ribera, Serafina, Bernal, Anton Chico, Mineral Hill, San Geronimo and Pablo as well as the I-25 corridor and the Pecos National Historical Park.

Safety:  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. Information on the Forest Stewards Guild’s HEPA Filter Loan Program is available here.

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

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