Medio Fire Consumes 2,702 Acres At 18 Percent Contained

Medio Fire progression map. Courtesy/ SAIMT


The Medio Fire has burned 2,702 acres off the Rio en Medio Trail on the Española Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) between the Rio Nambe and the Rio en Medio, approximately 2 miles north of the Village of Rio en Medio, 2 miles east/southeast of Nambe Reservoir and 5 miles north/northwest of the Santa Fe Ski Basin.

Successful burnout operations and handline construction Monday has allowed fire managers to increase containment to 18 percent.

With support from the National Guard Blackhawk helicopters, the Silver City Hotshots quickly suppressed and contained a small spot fire just outside the northern edge of the fire perimeter.

  • Start Date: Aug. 17, 2020
  • Cause: Unknown
  • Acres: Approximately 2,702 acres
  • Location: Rio en Medio Trail, Española Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest
  • Fuels: Dry mixed conifer, ponderosa pine
  • Containment: 18%
  • Total personnel: 232

Operations: Monday, fire crews continued to secure and mop up burnout operations along the eastern edge of the fire, increasing containment from 5% to 18%. This eastern flank continues to hold thanks to the success of burnout operations and handlines connecting to the Aspen Spur Trail. With retardant still on the ground, crews took advantage of a key opportunity to connect handline from Forest Road 102 directly to the fire’s southern edge. With these efforts, firefighters made substantial progress in reducing risk along this critical corridor. Crews utilized an existing shaded fuelbreak completed by the Santa Fe National Forest during a 2019 prescribed burn to complete burnout operations.  The Structure Protection Group continues to work with homeowners in Lower Pacheco Canyon and Rio en Medio to set up sprinkler systems, water tanks, and “hose lays” to mitigate risks to these residences. These hose lays consist of joining multiple lengths of hose, connected by pumps and nozzles, to provide an extended water defense around homes and other structures.

Community Meeting: The IMT hosted a virtual community meeting yesterday, with over 500 participants viewing the live video. A recording of the meeting is now available at No account is required to view the video. The next virtual community meeting will be held tonight at 6 p.m. on the Santa Fe National Forest’s Facebook page. American Sign Language interpretation and live-captioning services are provided. We will monitor online Facebook questions during the meeting, or you can email us your questions in advance at A recording will be posted immediately following the live meeting.

Closures: The Santa Fe National Forest has issued a closure order prohibiting members of the public from entering the restricted area, including all Forest Service lands, roads and trails, within an area that is roughly defined by the Rio Nambe Trail #160 on the north, the Borrego Trail #150 and Forest Road 412 on the east, Forest Road 102 on the south and back up the forest boundary line on the west to meet the Rio Nambe Trail #160. Fire managers are asking the public to exercise caution and avoid all areas that could be impacted by the Medio Fire.

Smoke: Updated smoke and air quality information is now available at The New Mexico Environment Department has issued an Air Quality Alert for Santa Fe, Nambe, Pojoaque, and Tesuque Pueblos and surrounding communities due to the smoke from the Medio Fire, as well as wildfires in neighboring states. Smoke from the Medio Fire is likely to be visible from Santa Fe and surrounding communities as well as along the I-25 and US-285 corridors. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at


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