Highlights: Despite surrounding thunderstorms and lightning, no new fire starts were detected yesterday. The Southwest Area Incident Management Team 4 continues to monitor the fire area and remains prepared to respond to any new movement.
Operations: As weather permits, firefighters are continuing to fly over the fire area to search for any remaining signs of smoke or heat. Although eight lightning strikes were recorded within the fire area yesterday, no new fire starts were observed. Based on aerial observations, fire activity continues to decline with no new fire spread. Fire managers are relying on two helitack crews to respond to any new fire starts in the wilderness. These crews of firefighters are specially trained and certified in the use of helicopters for fire suppression. While the likelihood for large-scale growth of the Rincon Fire remains low, future drier and warmer weather and the presence of dead trees killed by spruce budworm still pose the potential for extreme fire behavior.
Weather: Showers and thunderstorms will develop around noon on Saturday with potential for storms lasting well into the evening. A brief period of strong, dry northwest winds will arrive on Sunday, with temperatures running well above normal. A cold front will briefly move in from the north on Monday, with short-lived cooling followed by warming and drying on Tuesday.
Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public is the first priority. Members of the public are urged to stay away from the vicinity of the Rincon Fire. Backpackers planning to enter the Pecos Wilderness are advised to change their plans.
Restrictions: Due to ongoing drought and high fire danger, the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) is implementing Stage 1 fire restrictions forest-wide with an order that took effect on Thursday, June 17. The west side of the Forest has been in Stage 1 fire restrictions since May 24. In addition, a Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the area, which includes unmanned aircraft, or drones.
Closures: The Santa Fe National Forest has issued a closure order to protect public health and safety from June 16 through December 31, 2021, unless rescinded earlier. The closure order prohibits members of the public from entering the restricted area, including all Forest Service lands, roads and trails on the eastern side of the Pecos Wilderness within an area roughly defined by Jacks Creek Trail #257 and Beatty’s Trail #25 on the west to Skyline Trail #251 on the north to the Pecos Wilderness boundary on the east to Lone Pine Mesa Trail # 214, El Porvenir Trail #247 and Skyline Trail #251 on the south, then heading north to Iron Gate Trailhead and Jacks Creek Trailhead.
Smoke: Smoke from the Rincon Fire is visible within a 100-mile radius of the fire. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into your location to see the latest smoke information. 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 Environmental Public Health Tracking website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.