Caja Fire 70 Percent Contained, 158 Acres Burned

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The Caja Fire on Colorado Peak on the Caja del Rio PLateau in the Espanola Ranger district of the Santa Fe National Forest is 70 percent contained. The fire, which started Aug. 23, was caused by lightning and has burned 158 acres.

Fuels and fire behavior:  Fire behavior today is low with very little visible smoke.

Strategy: The strategy for the Caja Fire is full suppression. Firefighters have taken advantage of natural and man-made barriers, including the two-track road, to secure the Caja Fire’s perimeter.  Crews today continue to work the edges of the fire to make sure the containment lines remain secure.

Resources: Approximately 30 personnel are on scene, including three engines and a dozer. The dozer will probably be released today.

Weather: Daily rounds of showers and thunderstorms continue in and around the location of the Caja Fire. Temperatures will remain at near-record highs through Friday with some cooling expected over the weekend. Ventilation will remain poor to fair through Friday before improving early next week.

Values at risk: There are no immediate values at risk, although natural and cultural resources and a powerline are in proximity.

Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public are always the first priority. Firefighters are conducting operations under protocols to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. Members of the public should stay away from fire operations and staging areas.  Drones pose a serious risk to firefighting and can cause air operations to cease. The public is reminded that “If you fly, we can’t!”

Smoke from the Caja Fire may be visible from Santa Fe to Los Alamos and along the I-25 corridor and the 599 Bypass, mingling with smoke from the Medio Fire and multiple fires burning in adjacent states. An interactive smoke map at allows you to zoom into the Santa Fe area 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 (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at