Continued progress made on wildfires

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By Special to the Monitor

Tecolote Fire: 720 acres, 20 percent contained, 415 personnel committed to the fire. Minimal growth was observed Tuesday due to cooler temperatures and higher humidity levels. Firefighters were able to take advantage of conditions to prepare and strengthen fireline in anticipation of Red Flag conditions for Wednesday and Thursday.

The weather forecast is calling for higher winds and warmer temperatures. Strategies and resources are in place for changing weather conditions.

Closure:  An Incident Emergency Closure to ensure public and firefighter safety which will include the area around the fire as well as national forest land including EV Long Campground; El Porvenir Campground; day use picnic areas; Hermit’s Peak Trail, El Porvenir Trail and Hollinger Hiking Trail. Forest Road (FR) 263, S.R. 65; FR 18 (Mineral Hill Road) within the national forest boundaries are closed to traffic.  There will be someone posted at forest boundaries to restrict access to National Forest land.

South Fork Fire:  9,274 acres, 25 percent contained, 564 personnel committed to the fire. Crews continued constructing fireline and continued firing operations along Forest Road 27 on the north side of the fire. Utilization of primitive roads as means of minimizing the fire area is being implemented within the northern side of the fire. Tomorrow, indirect line improvement on the south end of the fire will continue.  Chipping of dead and down hazardous fuels along Forest Roads 27 and 144 will begin when equipment arrives.

Information Officers from the Type 2 Arizona Central West Zone Incident Management Team will be present at the Rio Arriba County Rodeo on from 5-7 p.m. Friday to share information about the South Fork fire and answer the public’s questions. The Rodeo Information Center will be located within the Rio Arriba County Special Operations trailer.  

Closure:  For the safety of firefighters and the public, the Forest Service announced closures of roads surrounding the fire. Roads affected include FR 27 on the fire’s western flank; FR 31, south of the Abiquiu Land Grant; and the section of FR 144 on the southern containment line between FR 27 and FR 31.

Red Fern Fire:  103 acres, 90 percent contained. Today, fire crews held and strengthened control lines, and continued with mop up (extinguishing and removing burning material near containment lines and felling snags) and rehab operations.  The Type 3 Incident Management Team assigned will transition the fire back to the Cuba Ranger District tomorrow at 7 a.m.

For online fire information, please visit www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe or www.nmfireinfo.com.