Poso Fire Update – June 12, 2021 – Fire managers plan to implement hand ignitions on the northern edge of the fire perimeter today.

Poso Fire Update – June 12, 2021

EL RITO, NM – June 12, 2021 – Fire managers plan to implement hand ignitions on the northern edge of the fire perimeter today. This is in conjunction with ongoing aerial ignitions. This fire is at a crucial point in which connecting the burning areas will keep the fire within prepared containment lines. The area surrounding the fire has already experienced wildfire as well as prescribed fire. Once management tactics are complete, the Poso Fire will fit into the surrounding areas like a puzzle piece creating a larger buffer of fire resilient landscape. This will aid in the protection of the adjacent communities from the future threat of wildfires. Firefighters are working around the clock with nighttime operations utilizing unmanned aerial systems (drones) to continue firing operations while the conditions allow for lower intensity fire behavior.

Start date:  May 29, 2021

Location:  Carson NF, El Rito Ranger District, 10 miles north of El Rito, adjacent to FR123

Cause:  Lightning              Size:  350 acres                Percent Contained:  5%

Resources:  2 hand crews, 1 wildland fire module, 3 Type 6 engines, 1 Type 3 helicopter, 1 dozer, 1 masticator, 1 grader, 2 water tenders, 1 ambulance, 1 Rapid Extraction Module (REM) Team, 1 unmanned aerial system (drone)

Fuels:  Ponderosa pine and mixed conifer

Operations: Fire plays a natural role in ecosystem health and can serve as a land management tool, naturally occurring wildfires can be used to improve habitat and restore the ecological balance of natural landscapes. The Northern New Mexico Incident Management Team is taking advantage of the lightning caused Poso Fire to implement management tactics that meet multiple resource objectives. These objectives include promoting forest health by allowing natural fire to return to the eco-system, reducing hazardous fuels and the risk of wildfires and their effects, and limiting firefighter and community exposures. To accomplish these objectives, the Incident Management Team is using mechanical fuel reductions (mastication) as well as daytime and evening hand and aerial firing operations. These firing operations, as well as increased use of modeling and situational awareness gathering technologies, are helping to promote modern planning, effective operations, and minimized effects to the surrounding communities. 

Weather: Mostly sunny, 10 % chance of rain, maximum temperatures of 81 to 85 degrees, minimum humidity 11 to 15%, winds out of the east 5 mph shifting to the south 8 to 12 mph in the afternoon.

Values at risk: Vallecitos watershed, cultural and historical sites.

Smoke:  As fire increases in size and firing operations commence, smoke may be visible from the communities of Abiquiu, Canjilon, Cañon Plaza, Vallecitos, La Madera, El Rito, Ojo Caliente, Petaca, Las Tablas and Tres Piedras which may continue to show for several days. For information on air quality and protecting your health, please visit https://nmtracking.org/fire. The health and safety of firefighters and the public are always the first priority. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://facnm.org/smoke/ or contact the El Rito Ranger District 575-581-4554. 

A Temporary 24-Hour Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire. Unauthorized use of unmanned aircraft (also known as “drones”) in a fire area endangers the lives of pilots and firefighters and is strictly forbidden. Never fly unmanned aircraft over or near a wildfire whether there is a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) in effect or not. Visit https://www.nifc.gov/drones and Know Before You Go for more information on drones and wildfires.

Fire updates will be posted on the Carson NF Website, New Mexico Fire Information website, Inciweb and on the Carson Facebook and Twitter.

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