Monument Fire Update – June 18

Detected: June 2, 2017 – 5:41
Cause: Lightning
Current Size: 170 acres
Containment: 20%
Location: Lincoln National Forest, Sacramento Ranger District, 8 miles southwest of Weed, NM near the top of Monument Canyon and 4 miles northeast of Timberon, NM.

Resources on Fire: 34 personnel, with 1 Bureau of Land Management and 5 Forest Service fire engines and 1 bulldozer.

  • Size increase from 115 acres was due to more accurate mapping and new growth from the hotter and drier weather conditions this weekend. 
  • Crews continue to monitor the fire and secure the perimeter using meadows, logging roads and other natural barriers including black line.
  • Monday’s forecast includes partly cloudy conditions with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, high temperatures in the upper 80’s and south winds around 5 mph.
  • Due to projected weather forecasts and limited firefighting resources available throughout New Mexico and the southwest, the strategy on this fire has changed. An emphases will be on securing the existing perimeter and preventing fire expansion from reaching heavier concentrations of mixed pine and fir conifer trees to the east.

Fuels: Needle leaf cast, grasses, downed trees, aspen, oak, and mixed conifer. There are several pockets of thick mixed dead conifer and old decadent aspen stands.

Fire Behavior: The interior of the fire continues to burn naturally. Fire behavior has continued to expand at a very slow rate. Flame lengths, on average, are less than 6” except when the fire reaches pockets of dead trees and isolated torching occurs. This isolated torching produces intermittent periods of increased smoke on the fire.  

Smoke may be visible from Sacramento, Weed and Timberon and settling into drainages at night.

Values at Risk: Grazing allotments and private land are in the vicinity of the wildfire area. Mexican Spotted Owl and Goshawk habitat are also present on the fringes of the area.

Restrictions & Closures: Temporary Closure Order is in place for the Monument Fire area.

Special Concerns: Firefighter and public safety is always the priority in managing all wildland fires.

Fire History and Goals/Objectives for the Monument Fire: A wildfire last burned in this area during the Circle Cross fire in the 1950’s.  Since the Circle Cross fire, fuel treatment projects throughout the years in this area have reduced fuel loading. It has produced an opportunity to encourage a low intensity natural fire to:

  • Further reduce fuel loading by preventing severe wildfires that could negatively affect the area, change the overall landscape and reduce the wildfire risk to nearby communities.
  • Improve forage plants for numerous animal species. 
  • Regenerate depleted aspen stands.

Monument Fire Updates: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5207/

 

PIO:  Brian Reublinger, 775-772-3426 breublinger@fs.fed.us