The Black Feather Fire, burning approximately 9 miles south of Gallina on the Coyote Ranger District, on the San Pedro Parks Wilderness, near the Peñas Negras Trail on the Santa Fe National Forest, remains at 2,198 acres consumed as of this morning and 0 percent contained. The fire is burning timber, brush and understory.
Rains, high humidity and cooler temperatures are contributing to a reduction in fire behavior, allowing crews to continue to improve containment lines and enhance long-term strategies for the Black Feather Fire. Southwest Area Incident Management Team 2 is working with local stakeholders, forest managers, and Resource Advisors (READs), on a strategic risk analysis, and finalizing plans to address potential response needs if fire behavior increases in the future. Current resources on the fire include 480 personnel 7 hotshot crews, 2 hand crews, 12 engines, 4 helicopters, 4 dozers, 4 water tenders, numerous fixed-wing aircraft, and 1 infrared drone capable of mapping and identifying hot spots.
A community meeting will be held for the Black Feather Fire 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15 at the Coronado High School Campus at 1903 NM-96 in Gallina, and will be live-streamed on the Black Feather Fire Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100095598220079 (no account is needed to view this live-stream).
Firefighters continue to improve containment lines around the fire through fuel reduction, chipping and hauling out the large volume of timber slash created while building the lines. Crews on the eastern edge of the fire, outside of the wilderness, are locating and mopping up hot spots while strengthening primary and secondary containment lines. Incident objectives for the Black Forest Fire include firefighter and public safety, protecting property, infrastructure, and other values at risk.
The communities of Mesa Pinebetal, Mesa Poleo, and Wetherill remain in ‘Ready’ status. The Coyote Senior Center is open to evacuees, and livestock can be taken to the Rio Arriba Rural Event Center near Abiquiu. The Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office is coordinating evacuations. For more information, use the QR code below and visit the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100079688263048
Expect increased activity in the area and on local roads as firefighters and equipment move to new locations. Please stay out of the fire area to allow crews safe access to the fire. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place around the fire area. Please do not fly drones anywhere near the fire. If you fly, we can’t fly.
Chances of rain increase today across the area, with the possibility of an isolated thunderstorm. There will be breaks in between showers with the sun temporarily breaking through, allowing temperatures to rise into the lower 70s near the fire.
The Santa Fe National Forest has issued an area, road, and trail closure in part of the Coyote Ranger District. See bit.ly/BlackFeatherClosure for information and a corresponding map. Forest Road 103 is closed to non-residential traffic. Closures will be adjusted based on fire activity.
More smoke may be visible in the area over the next several days as active smoldering is taking place. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Air quality information is available at https://www.airnow.gov/