Ute Park Fire At 77 Percent Containment

NMDF News:

The Ute Fire has burned 36,740 acres including 26,387 acres on the Philmont Scout Ranch and is now 77 percent contained.

The fire began at 2 :10 p.m., May 31 on Highway 64 in Ute Park between Eagle Nest Lake and Cimarron.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Jurisdiction: NM State
Fuels: Grass, Piñon Juniper, Mixed Conifer
Resources: 445 personnel, 10 crews, 7 helicopters, 12 engines, 1 dozer, and 5 water tenders

There is a Red Flag Warning noon until 8 p.m. today for expected erratic winds gusting up to 35 mph. Wind from the west will not be a concern for fire perimeter growth as it will blow the fire back onto itself. Partly cloudy conditions are expected this morning followed by clear skies and isolated dry thunderstorms. Firefighters are prepared to respond to new starts in the area as needed.

Fire crews finished chipping along US Highway 64 this evening. When firefighters flew over the fire today they observed very little heat near the fireline. Firefighters continue to monitor and patrol the north, east, and south flanks of the fire. Hotshot crews that have been spiked out (camping near the fireline) on the west perimeter above Ute Park for several days will hike out tomorrow and return to camp at the Incident Command Post.

Flame and smoke will continue to be visible over the next few weeks until heavy monsoon storms arrive. Winds will fan flames in pockets of unburned vegetation within firelines however interior fire activity is not a threat to the fire’s perimeter. Cimarron and Ute Park may see smoke and flames as wind and cloud cover changes.  

US 64 remains closed eastbound and westbound between mile marker 287 at Eagle Nest to mile marker 309 at Cimarron for public safety. The only exception is for local Ute Park residents (with ID) who will be allowed to travel between Ute Park and Eagle Nest on US 64. NM 204 is closed north and south of mile marker 0 to mile marker 10.  These areas will stay closed as firefighters continue to work with collaborators to mitigate concerns related to uncontained fire, road conditions, flash flooding, and firefighter safety.  Road crews are also using large equipment to install concrete Jersey barriers along sections of Highway 64 to help catch rolling and flooding debris.

All property access off NM 204 is still closed and under evacuation orders. Visit the Colfax County website for more information at http://www.co.colfax.nm.us/.
No homes have burned on the Ute Park Fire. Structure protection measures are in place, including hoselays and sprinklers. Fourteen outbuildings burned May 31 on the Philmont Scout Ranch.

Firefighters are working to suppress this fire where they can do so safely and effectively. Values at risk include public and firefighter safety, the community of Ute Park, the Philmont Scout Ranch, the Cimarroncito and Urraca Watersheds, Cimarron Canyon State Park, private lands, economic benefits from tourism and recreation in the area, and air quality.

Use the 5-3-1 visibility method to protect your health from smoke: https://bit.ly/2jJwwd7. Air Monitoring Resources are available at https://bit.ly/2tm1VG6, https://bit.ly/2sqcLJ4.

Call 511 or visit http://nmroads.com/ for current road info. US 64 remains closed eastbound and westbound from mile marker 287 to mile marker 309 at Cimarron. NM 204 is closed north and south of mile marker 0 to mile marker 10.

Cimarron State Park remains closed.  Eagle Nest Lake State Park is open.

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


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