Rincon Fire Update – June 13, 2021

Date Reported: June 11, 2021     Cause: Lightning     Size: Approximately 200+ acres     Containment: 0%

Location: Pecos Wilderness, Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest, approximately 2 miles east of Hamilton Mesa and 6 air miles northwest of the village of Upper Rociada.

Fuels: Spruce/fir at 11,000 feet elevation. Insect infestation, primarily the spruce beetle, has killed a lot of trees in the area, which is likely to provide ample fuel and generate significant smoke.

Resources:  10-person crew, a Type 3 helicopter and a Type 2 helicopter. A Type 2 Incident Management Team will take command of the Rincon Fire on Tuesday at 6 a.m.

Strategy: The Rincon Fire is burning in steep, rocky terrain at 11,000-feet elevation. Storm cells in the area over the last 24 hours raised the relative humidity enough to keep fire behavior at moderate levels. The same storm cells prevented a planned infrared flight to map the Rincon Fire, but fire managers believe weather conditions kept the fire from growing overnight. Strategic planning for the Rincon Fire continues to focus on the safety challenges posed by the topography and the heavy fuel load.

Weather: The state is expecting higher than normal temperatures this week, but a low-level flow is expected to pull moisture into the area with isolated showers and thunderstorms starting Monday and continuing through the week. Those storm cells may also be accompanied by gusty outflow winds.  

Values at risk: The Pecos Wilderness resource itself, the historic Beatty’s Cabin and two additional government-owned cabins used as administrative sites.

Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public are always the first priority. Members of the public are urged to stay away from the vicinity of the Rincon Fire. Backpackers planning to enter the Pecos Wilderness are advised to change their plans.

Restrictions: A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the area, which includes unmanned aircraft, or drones. Unauthorized use of drones in a wildfire area endangers the lives of pilots and firefighters. Never fly an unmanned aircraft over or near a wildfire. See www.nifc.gov/drones for additional information on the dangers drones pose to wildland firefighting aircraft and personnel on the ground.

Smoke: Smoke from the Rincon Fire is visible within a 100-mile radius of the fire. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into the Santa Fe 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 will be posted on the SFNF website, New Mexico Fire Information website, Inciweb and on the SFNF Facebook and Twitter.

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