Pino Fire Appears To Have Met Resource Objectives

The Pino Fire is burning five miles south of N.M. 4 and six miles east of Jemez Springs. Screenshot/ladp

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – The lightning caused Pino Fire is now estimated at 4,313 acres. The fire is burning on Santa Fe National Forest’s Jemez Ranger District, five miles south of N.M. 4 and six miles east of Jemez Springs.

This fire has been highly visible for the past few days as it has been managed to improve forest health. Through a combination of hand and aerial ignitions, low-intensity fires have been used to reduce excess fuels. These actions should moderate the risk of future high-intensity fires. 

Fire managers believe that their objectives have been successfully met although it may take several years to see the full effects of their actions. Today, they will patrol the fire’s edge, looking for hazardous snags or rolling debris which may threaten control features or damage the electric power line. The entire fire area also will be patrolled by helicopter to identify any potential problems. The fire is expected to be less active today, but as remaining interior fuel continues to burn, lingering smoke will be visible until precipitation arrives. There is an increased chance of precipitation today and Friday.

The burned area will be assessed over the next few days, and as soon as it is determined to be safe, the public will be allowed to enter. Use extreme caution when entering a recently burned area. Fire weakened or dead trees can fall with no advanced warning. Trees that were consumed completely leave a deep “stump hole” that may not be visible because of ash and dirt. It is very easy to break an ankle if you step in one of these. Stump holes also may hold hot, burning embers for weeks. Rocks may give way and roll downhill since many of the root systems that held them in place have been burned away.

The Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) transferred management of the Pino Fire to a Type 4 Incident Commander at 6 p.m. today. Barring significant developments, this will be the final update on the Pino Fire. After today, contact the Jemez Ranger District for information at 575.829.3535.

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