ALBUQUERQUE – Lightning from a storm Sunday, Aug. 6, started the Cerro Fire on Bureau of Land Management lands southwest of Grants.
The fire is now 20 acres in size and being managed by local BLM resources.
The fire is burning in piñon and juniper woodlands and ponderosa pine forest. No homes or structures are threated. Firefighters have been suppressing the northern portion of the fire adjacent to private land in order to establish an anchor point. Tactics will be used that will yield a high probability of success and meet land management objectives, while allowing for the safety of firefighters and public. Additional actions will be further determined by fire activity, weather, and continued progression of the fire.
Smoke from the Cerro Fire is visible from State Highways 53 and 117 and from the communities of Grants, San Rafael, El Morro and Ramah. Smoke may impact surrounding communities but should be light and of short duration. However, fire activity to the west has also drifted into central New Mexico, creating noticeable haze in the Grants area.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures, especially if they feel any effects. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health website at https://nmtracking.org/environment/air/FireAndSmoke.html. Tools include assessing your local air quality with the 5-3-1 method. If you can see less than 5 miles, the air quality is unhealthy for young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness; they should minimize outdoor activity.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 372,000 jobs.