Midnight Fire Saturday Evening Update

Aerial view of the Midnight Fire which has burned 3,500 acres north of El Rito. Photo Courtesy Carson National Forest


Acres: 3,500 | Containment: 0% | Total personnel: 200 | Start Date: June 9, 2022 | Cause: Under Investigation | Start Point: 8 miles NNE of El Rito in Rio Arriba County | Fuels: Heavy mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, brush, and grass.

The video of tonight’s community meeting may be viewed at:


The fire generally spread south and east today. Crews both on the ground and in the air engaged the fire as it pushed eastward out of Potrero Canyon at Forest Road 123 near its intersection with Forest Road 44.

The reported size remains at 3,500 acres until an infrared flight operation tonight occurs to more accurately map the fire. Containment remains at 0%. Personnel and equipment continue to be ordered.

The community of Potrero, just south of where the fire started, has been put under a GO evacuation status by the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office. No other areas are under an evacuation status at this time.

Hot and dry conditions persisted today with temperatures reaching into the low 90s and the relative humidity reaching into single digits. Critical fire weather conditions will return Sunday with a very low relative humidity, gusty winds and an unstable hot airmass.

The community of Potrero is under a GO evacuation status. For emergency alerts in Rio Arriba County, sign up here: https://local.nixle.com/signup/widget/i/6807.

The Carson National Forest has been under Stage 3 fire restrictions, which closes the Forest, since May 17.

Complimentary mobile HEPA air filter units are available to nearby smoke sensitive residents. They can be checked out at the El Rito Ranger Station. Call 575-581-4554 to reserve. The units are courtesy of the Forest Stewards Guild and the Carson National Forest.

(This post originally had a note about the closure of Forest Road 44. The Forest is currently closed under Stage 3 fire restrictions, but a limited number of individuals have authorized permission to enter the forest for permitted business operations. The road was closed to those individuals for a short time earlier in the day and has since reopened.)