Poso Fire Update – June 14, 2021 – As predicted the fire has caused smoke impacts to surrounding communities.

Poso Fire Update – June 14, 2021

EL RITO, NM – June 14, 2021 – As predicted the fire has caused smoke impacts to surrounding communities. Air Quality monitors have been deployed at the Vallecitos Fire Station and the El Rito Ranger Station.  Because air quality monitors are not available in all areas, your eyes are your best tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside.  Even if you smell smoke, the air quality may still be good. Remember: if visibility is over 5 miles, the air quality is generally good.  However, no matter how far you can see, if you are having health effects from smoke exposure then take extra care to stay inside or get to an area with better air quality.  You should also see your doctor or healthcare professional as needed. Wildfire smoke can reduce visibility on roadways and aviation travel routes.  People should exercise care when driving in smoky, low-visibility conditions.  Visit https://fire.airnow.gov/ to see data from our air quality monitors.

Start date:  May 29, 2021

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

Cause:  Lightning          

Size:  1600 acres                                                      

Percent Completed:  20%

Resources:  2 hand crews, 1 wildland fire module, 3 Type 6 engines, 1 Type 3 helicopter, 1 dozer, 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 lines on the northern edge successfully held fire in place while interior heat consumed woody debris on the forest floor.  As the fire consumes fuels, increased smoke will make its way down Borracho Canyon and may impact the Vallecitos community.  Crews took great care to make sure the fire stayed within the fire perimeter, utilizing many tools such as boots on the ground firefighting tactics, aerial lookouts in fixed wing aircraft, helicopters with both firing and water (buckets) capability, and unmanned aerial systems (drones) to keep the fire edge secure, cool and/or chase down potential spot fires.  Slow moving low intensity backing fire was observed on the southeastern side of the fire.  This type of backing fire is ideal for consuming ground fuels while not damaging the forest canopy.

Weather: Mostly sunny, 10% chance of rain, maximum temperatures 88 to 92 degrees, minimum humidity 7 to 11%, northeast winds 5 to 6 mph shifting the the west 5 to 8 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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