SFNF: Weather Stalls Operations On Cuervito Fire

Site of the Cuervito Fire on the Santa Fe National Forest. Courtesy/inciweb

SFNF News:

SANTA FE — While a weather cell over the Cuervito Fire on the Santa Fe National Forest put a hold on operations during much of the day, the Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) continued releasing resources from the fire.

Since lightning sparked the Cuervito Fire on Mother’s Day, crews have successfully added low- to moderate-intensity fire to the ground to reduce the hazardous build-up of heavy vegetation, including dead and down timber and needle litter on the forest floor.

Managing a naturally ignited wildfire for resource benefit protects communities and resources by reducing the risk of high-severity fire in the future.

Location: 9 miles east of Pecos and 3 miles southwest of the Barillas Lookout on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District

Start Date: May 9, 2021

Size: Approximately 1,300 acres with the potential for approximately 1,600 acres

Cause: Lightning

Resources Assigned: 65 personnel on scene, including 2 hand crews, 2 engines, 1 dozer, 2 water tenders, 2 masticators and an unmanned aircraft system (UAS)

Fuels: Ponderosa pine, piñon-juniper, Douglas fir and oak brush

Operations: Today’s operations focused on a small 300-acre wedge on the southern end of the Cuervito Fire, continuing hand ignitions along dozer line when weather permitted. Aerial ignitions with the UAS were scrubbed due to weather.

Weather: This evening will be partly cloudy, with a slight chance of thunderstorms in the evening and showers through the night. There is a 30% chance of precipitation, and temperatures will range between 36 and 40 degrees. Winds are expected to be out of the north at 5 to 10 mph with gusty and erratic winds near the thunderstorm.

Values at risk: Firefighter and public safety is always the number-one priority for the IMT. Values at risk include private property nearby.

Smoke: Smoke management is a key part of the planning and implementation of managed wildfire. Smoke from the Cuervito Fire may impact the communities of Santa Fe, Pecos, Las Vegas, Rowe, Glorieta, La Cueva, North and South San Ysidro, Ilfeld, San Jose, San Juan, Tecolote, Soham, Ribera, Serafina, Bernal, Anton Chico, Mineral Hill, San Geronimo and Pablo as well as the I-25 corridor and the Pecos National Historical Park.

Safety: 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 online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website. Information on the Forest Stewards Guild’s HEPA Filter Loan Program is available here.

Fire updates will be posted on the SFNF website, New Mexico Fire Information website, Inciweb and on the Santa Fe National Forest Facebook page and Twitter @SantafeNF.


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