Information provided by New Mexico authorities this week advised that the lightning-caused Vics Peak Fire, burning on the Magdalena Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest since June 15, has grown to 8,886 acres, with 194 personnel assigned.
Ground resources continue to hold and improve containment lines with help from aerial operations as weather allows. Today, air operations continue to drop water on hotspots along Forest Road 225. Aerial ignitions near Milo Canyon and Apache Kid Peak are planned for today to moderate fire behavior and prevent stand-replacing fire. Fire activity in these areas by the end of today will likely determine where operations will focus Monday during critical fire weather periods. Windy conditions have limited aerial activities in the past 48 hours, and more wind is expected today.
Weather: Elevated to critical fire weather conditions will develop Sunday afternoon and repeat Monday and Tuesday due to continued dry weather and windy conditions. Highs will be in the 80s. Dry weather will persist, but relative humidity will not be extremely low. Winds will be the most challenging weather factor as southwest to west winds increase to 20 mph with gusts to 35. Monday is expected to be the windiest day.
Safety: Safety of the public and firefighters is always the top priority in wildland fire operations. Vics Peak Fire operations include best management practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 within firefighter crews/operations and within the general public. Medical teams have been placed near all crew camps and operational work areas to support firefighters. The public is reminded to avoid the use of unmanned aerial systems (drones) near wildfires (https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/fire/uas/if-you-fly).
Smoke: Smoke over the fire area has been moderate and will continue to be visible from I-25, NM-1, and NM-107. The Forest Service will coordinate with the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the New Mexico Environment Department and Department of Health to issue any needed alerts. Additional information can be found at http://nmtracking.org/fire.
Closures: A 10-mile temporary flight restriction remains in place around San Mateo Peak for the safety of all aircraft and ground resources. Forest Road 225, Springtime Campground, Luna Park Campground, and the following trails leading into Apache Kid Wilderness remain closed to the public: Apache Kid, Teepe Peak, Cowboy, Smith, Drift Fence, Milo, Nave, Coffee Pot, Post, Cold Spring, Maverick, San Mateo, Skeleton Ridge, Indian Creek, and Shipman.
There will be a ~3-mile temporary road closure today through Tuesday on Forest Road 330 (Rosedale road) between Rosedale and the turn-off to Grassy Lookout. It will be signed. A road crew will use heavy equipment to improve the road for firefighter and public safety.