Severe thunderstorms are predicted for the Ute Park Fire and the surrounding area throughout today. Up to 1” of rain and 30 mph winds from the south are expected to impact the area. Flash flooding is expected. Precipitation may help limit fire activity in the short term, but critical fire weather conditions are expected to return. Firefighters are prepared to respond to new starts within the area as wide-spread lightning is expected today as well.
Ute Park Fire, Colfax County
Start Date and Time: May 31, 2018 at 2:10 p.m.
Start Location: Near Highway 64 in Ute Park between Eagle Nest Lake and Cimarron
Cause of Fire: Under investigation
Area Vegetation: Grass, Pinyon Juniper and Mixed Conifer
Acres Burned: 31,930 (based on infrared data)
Structures Threatened: Yes / approximately 296
Structures Burned: 14 outbuildings
Evacuations: Cimarron and Ute Park
Containment: 0 percent
Closures: Highway 64 between Cimarron and Eagle Nest, US 64 from I-25 to Colfax, Highway 21 from Springer to Cimarron, and State Route 58 from I-25 to Cimarron.
Resources: 511 personnel including 10 crews, 7 helicopters, 32 engines, 8 dozers, 7 water tenders
A mandatory evacuation order was issued last night for the residents of Ute Park. The fire did not move further north overnight. Firefighters put a dozer line around the community to help protect Ute Park. Firefighters continue to reduce fuels around structures and set up sprinkler systems. Visit https://bit.ly/2ssHjKi for an interactive Ute Peak fire map.
Extensive burning operations conducted yesterday to help protect the Cimarron area were successful on the fire’s eastern and southern flanks. Firefighters on the ground are securing control lines and mopping-up hot spots, aided by water-dropping helicopters and retardant-dropping air tankers.
The north flank of the Ute Park Fire is being slowed by the burn scar of the 2002 Ponil Fire. Firefighters are seeking opportunities to corral the fire into areas with lighter fuels and natural barriers in this area.
Safety is our #1 priority. Firefighters are using direct attack tactics where possible, protecting values at risk and limiting the fire’s spread. Values include firefighter and public safety, critical municipal watersheds, structures, and air quality.
Sign Up for Colfax County’s Emergency Alerts at https://bit.ly/2LbNdXh. Ute Park currently has a mandatory evacuation. Fourteen outbuildings have burned on the Philmont Scout Ranch. Approximately 296 structures are threatened in the community of Cimarron, which remains under a mandatory evacuation order. Philmont Scout Ranch staff have also evacuated to the Colfax Fairgrounds in Springer, NM. There are no scouts currently at the camp.
The Red Cross continues to have a shelter open at the Eagle Nest Senior Center at 74 N. Tomboy Dr., Eagle Nest, NM. The New Mexico Chapter of the American Red Cross is also supporting the City of Raton’s shelter at the Raton Convention Center, 901S. 3rd Street, Raton, NM. Evacuees are welcome at either shelter.
Call 511 or visit http://nmroads.com/ for current road information. US 64 is closed eastbound and westbound from mile marker 285 before Cimarron to mile marker 344 at Eagle Nest. NM 204 is closed northbound and southbound from mile marker 0 to mile marker 10. NM 21 is closed eastbound and westbound from mile marker 0 at Cimarron to mile marker 34 at Philmont. NM 58 is closed eastbound and westbound from mile marker 0 at Cimarron to mile marker 18. Cimarron State Park is closed. Eagle Nest Lake State Park is open, but Eagle Nest Lake is closed as firefighting helicopters are utilizing the lake as a water source.
Use the 5-3-1 visibility method to protect your health from smoke: https://bit.ly/2jJwwd7. Air Monitoring Resources are available online at https://bit.ly/2tm1VG6 and https://bit.ly/2sqcLJ4.
Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. More info visit Know Before You Fly, http://knowbeforeyoufly.org
Ute Park Fire Info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5820/ (air quality info, maps, etc.) and http://nmfireinfo.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ute-Park-Fire-Info-378765475953098/ Twitter: @uteparkfireinfo
Public Line: (505) 309-0751 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.)