El Rito Ranger District Managing Two Fires – Francisquito And Rincon

67232279_2323976651027567_7399460586301423616_n.jpgTwo fires are burning near El Rito in the Carson National Forest. Photo Courtesy Carson National Forest


Name: Francisquito
Date detected: July 13
Cause: Lightning
Location: Carson NF, El Rito Ranger District, near FR 44 and FR 123
Size: 20 Acres
Growth Potential: low to moderate
Vegetation: Ponderosa Pine and Mixed conifer

Name: Rincon
Date detected: July 14
Cause: Lightning
Location: Carson NF, El Rito Ranger District, north of Francisquito tank Size: 1 Acre
Growth Potential: low to moderate
Vegetation: Ponderosa Pine and Mixed conifer

The two lightning caused fires, Francisquito and Rincon, both located on the El Rito Ranger District of the Carson National Forest, are currently being managed for resource benefit.  The fires are approximately 7 miles north of El Rito and are approximately 20 and 1 acres in size.  These low intensity fires are burning in Ponderosa Pine, mixed-conifer, grass and brush.  The fires continue to creep and clean up undergrowth and ladder fuels (fuels that can carry fire up into the tree canopy).  These fires currently pose no threat to any values in the area. Both fires received precipitation yesterday.

A values-driven strategy is being implemented on these fires which allows fire managers to incorporate different tactics to accomplish desired results.  These tactics help reduce firefighter exposure while increasing the probability of meeting predetermined desired effects in relationship to values at risk.  This assists the Forest in meeting their land management objectives.  Additional management actions, including burning (both ground ignitions and aerial ignitions) in the next several days, will be further determined by fire activity, weather, and the progression of the fire. Fire bosses will continue managing these fires with the primary objective of returning natural fire back into the ecosystem.  Allowing fire to naturally thin the forest and take out weaker, more diseased trees will improve overall forest health, range land, and wildlife habitat.

Firefighters continue scouting the fire area for opportunities to use roads along with natural barriers to confine the fire to a fixed area. The forest just north of these fires was burned in 2018 as part of the Alamosa Prescribed Fire which will provide a great opportunity to limit fire spread. Three engines, a Type 2 Initial Attack crew, two bull dozers and a grader, all with operators and bosses and an Incident Commander are all part of the suppression efforts.

Due to the location and elevation of the fires, smoke may be visible from surrounding communities including Taos, Peñasco, Española, Abiquiu, and El Rito areas. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with heart or respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. For information on air quality and protecting your health, please visit https://nmtracking.org/fire. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://facnm.org/smoke/ or contact the El Rito Ranger District 575-581-4554.