WILDLAND FIRE NEWS
The Luna Fire, two miles from Chacon, is now five percent contained and has burned 10,136 acres. On Saturday, a Red Flag Warning brought strong, gusty and erratic winds over the fire area and the potential for extreme fire behavior. Winds were predominantly from the West, however due to the interaction of the winds and alignment of the terrain, it produced a northerly wind along the higher ridges. This wind shift caused the fire to push back into areas already burned, minimizing the fires spread to the North. The winds did cause a few spot fires in Bull Canyon, Cuchillo de Fernando and West of Luna Canyon on the southern perimeter of the fire.
Sunday is a transition day with a cold front moving through the area bringing strong winds this morning; rain and snow this afternoon and evening. Firefighters will continue working throughout the day holding and strengthening containment lines from Quemado Canyon to Lujan to protect the values at risk (homes and private property). Priority for today will be containing spot fires in Bull Canyon and West of Luna Canyon. Dozers will continue building indirect (away from the fires edge) containment lines on the south and west flanks.
How close is the fire to my community? The Luna Fire is burning 2 miles from Chacon, 15 miles from Mora, 5 miles from Guadalupita, 4.5 miles from Sierra Bonita, 3.5 miles from Black Lake, 9.5 miles from Angel Fire and 7 miles from Valle Escondido.
Road Closures: FS Road 76 at Highway 518. County Road B-001 (Luna Canyon Road), open to residents only.
County Road B-001 Re-opened to Property Owners Only: As of Saturday October 24, 2020, County Road B-001 (Luna Canyon Road) off of Highway 121 (Chacon) will be open to citizens who reside or own property off of Luna Road. Citizens will need to provide proper documentation (physical address, property taxes, etc.) showing they have permission to access the area. Law Enforcement officials will continue to be stationed on County Road B-001 conducting verifications.
Weather: This morning will bring strong westerly winds and increasing clouds as the cold front moves into the area. By afternoon, light rain will begin to fall turning to snow by this evening. Winds will be west to southwest 16-20 mph with gusts to 25mph, relative humidity 25-30 % and temperatures 45-55 degrees.
Evacuations: A Voluntary Evacuation Notice has been issued for the Luna Canyon area.
Fire Restrictions: The Forest is very dry; conditions are similar to what you might see in June not in late October. Because of this, Stage 1 Fire Restrictions have been implemented on the Carson National Forest to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires. For more information on fire restrictions visit www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/carson/alerts-notices.
Fire Closures: The Carson National Forest has issued a temporary closure (Forest Order 02-484) prohibiting the public from entering the area around the Luna Fire, including all National Forest System Lands, roads and trails affected by the fire. This closure includes access for hunting. For more information on the fire closure visit www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/carson/alerts-notices. A Temporary Flight Restriction over the fire remains in place.
Smoke Outlook: Weather and fuel conditions early in the day may lead to moderate smoke production along the northeast edge of the fire. Changing weather conditions later in the day may lead to light smoke and little to no smoke impacts to communities near the fire including Chacon, Mora, and Guadalupita. Communities further to the east could see visible smoke with little impacts early in the day. Light smoke may be visible in Angel Fire and Taos and other communities to the north/northeast. It is unlikely that smoke from the Luna fire will impact Santa Fe. Individuals who are sensitive to wildfire smoke should take precautions and use the New Mexico Department of Health 5-3-1 Visibility Method to determine if it’s safe to be outside. Learn more at https://nmtracking.org/environment/air/FireAndSmoke.html.
Safety Message: Watch for changing conditions today as rain turns to sleet and then snow by this evening. If you are driving in the area, please slow down and be aware of increased fire traffic on local roads.
Ready, Set, Go!: Wildfires can burn at any time, as we have seen with the Luna Fire, requiring firefighters and residents to be on heightened alert to respond to these emergencies. The Ready, Set, Go! Program works in collaboration with New Mexico’s Living with Fire and other existing community wildland fire education efforts to help residents prepare for a wildfire emergency. For more information on wildfire prevention and how you can prepare for wildfires, visit www.wildlandfirersg.org or the New Mexico Fire Information website at https://nmfireinfo.com/.
Cooperating Agencies: Picuris Pueblo, Taos Pueblo, Jicarilla Apache Nation, Sandia Pueblo, Sierra Bonita Rincon Fire Department, State of New Mexico County Fire Administrator, Angel Fire Department, Colfax County Fire, Colfax County Emergency Operations Manager, Taos County Fire, Village of Chacon, Kit Carson Electric Co-Op, Mora County Sheriff, New Mexico State Police, New Mexico Livestock Inspector, Colfax County Sheriff, Taos County Sheriff, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Angel Fire Police, New Mexico Department of Transportation, Tri-State Electric, Mora San Miguel Electric Co-Op.