Monument Fire Update – June 16th

Detected: June 2, 2017 – 5:41 pm                              Cause: Lightning

Current Size: 100 acres (50% active fire)                  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, including 1 BLM and 4 FS engines and 1 bull dozer

  • This week’s hotter and drier weather conditions (forecasted through the weekend) are contributing to moderate fire behavior and an increase in fire activity and smoke production. Westerly winds 10 – 14 mph.
  • Next week’s weather forecast:  (Monday-Wednesday) mostly clear then partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms. 
  • No aerial ignitions are scheduled.   

Fuels: The fire is currently burning through areas containing isolated pockets of mixed conifer and old decadent Aspen stands with some single tree torching occurring on the fire. Today, most fire activity was burning through surface level fuels.

Fire Behavior:  Fire behavior has increased slightly and is exhibiting up to 6” flame lengths.  When the fire reaches pockets of dense standing fuel, isolated torching occurs, resulting in intermittent periods of increased smoke output. Recent rains/fuel moistures have kept fire activity minimal. 

Smoke is 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: Wildfire last burned in this area during the Circle Cross fire in the 1950’s. The natural fire frequency of that landscape is in need of fire treatment. Efforts will be made to encourage the Monument Fire’s low intensity surface fire to:

  • Reduce potential future severe effects of wildfire that could negatively effecting the area and other unintended consequences from wildfire, thus creating a landscape resilient to wildfire disturbance and reduced risk to communities
  • Improve future grazing availability
  • Improve aspen regeneration

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

PIO:  Loretta Benavidez, 575-430-5546  llbenavidez@fs.fed.us