Midnight Fire Update June 14, 2022

Acres: 4,843 | Containment: 0% | Total personnel: 330 |
Start Date: June 9, 2022| Cause: Lightning | Location:  4.5 miles NNE of El Rito in Rio Arriba County | Fuels: Heavy mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, brush, and grass 

Highlights: A Community Meeting will be hosted at the Abiquiu Rural Event Center at 6:00 p.m. this evening. A Red Flag Warning will be in effect from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; expect to see increased smoke as the fire will remain active. Firefighters have been successful in catching spot fires on the northeast side of the fire due in large part to prior fuels treatments in the area. 

Operations: Fire suppression efforts were challenged yesterday with the red flag conditions. Fire activity picked up along the western section of the perimeter as the fire pushed through containment lines. Aviation assets were able to use both water from super scoopers and helicopters as well as retardant from very-large air tankers to check that growth earlier in the day before being grounded due to high winds. Direct line construction continued from Forest Service Road 44 north and west along the fire’s edge. Crews also saw an increase in activity on the northeast corner of the fire with spot fires out ahead of the primary containment line, all of which were identified quickly and managed by firefighters on the ground. Crews were successful in picking up those spot fires due in part to fuels treatments, including prescribed fire and thinning activities along with an old burn scar. The treatments provided a transition area from heavy timber to open canopy that brought the fire down to the ground with significantly lower intensity burning conditions.

Today, firefighters can expect challenges with another day of Red Flag Warnings. On the west side of the fire, crews resumed direct line construction at daybreak building containment lines to the north with support from aviation. Crews will continue to scout for containment features, including road systems, burn scars, and fuel treatments to establish containment lines and contingency lines to the north and east. 

Evacuations: To view real-time evacuation information around the Midnight Fire, visit: tinyurl.com/midnightfiremap. For emergency alerts in Rio Arriba County, sign up here: https://local.nixle.com/signup/widget/i/6807. The Ready, Set, Go evacuation guide is available in English and Spanish here: https://tinyurl.com/RSGNM. For disaster assistance resources, visit: https://www.nmdhsem.org/2022-wildfires/.  

Weather: Red Flag Warning in effect from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Much drier air will filter into the area with relative humidity values very low. Wind gusts will be up to 35 mph. 

Air Quality: Complimentary mobile HEPA air filter units have all been checked out to nearby smoke sensitive residents.  

Closures and Restrictions: The Carson National Forest has been under Stage 3 fire restrictions, which closes the Forest, since May 17. 

Fire Information: Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM | Phone: 505-445-3203 | Email: 2022.midnight@firenet.gov  Online: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/news/8147/  | https://www.facebook.com/CarsonNF  

Midnight Fire Information

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