Black Feather Fire: 2352 Acres, Zero Percent Containment

Map showing the area of the Black Feather Fire. Courtesy NMSNF

Black Feather Fire Update – 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 10

Community Meeting scheduled for Thursday evening.

Acres: 2,352 acres Start Date: August 5, 2023

Cause: Lightning Fuels: Timber, Brush, Understory

Containment: 0%

Resources: 273 personnel

Location: Approximately 9 miles south of Gallina, NM, on the Santa Fe National Forest, Coyote Ranger District. Near the Peñas Negras Trail in the San Pedro Parks Wilderness.

Highlights: A community meeting regarding the Black Feather Fire is scheduled today, Thursday, August 10, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Coronado High School Campus, located at 1903 NM-96, Gallina, NM 87017. It will be live-streamed on the Black Feather Fire Facebook Page: for those unable to attend in person (no account is needed to view this live-stream).

The lightning-caused Black Feather Fire was discovered on August 5, 2023. It is being managed with a full-suppression strategy. Additional resources continue to arrive, giving firefighters additional support in managing the incident. Current resources include, 6 hotshot crews, 19 engines, 5 helicopters, 4 dozers, 5 water tenders, initial attack crew, and numerous fix-wing aircraft. The change in reported acreage occurred due to more accurate mapping of the fire. Recent rain and forecasted moisture moderates fire behavior, however there is a heavy dead and down fuel component which is resistant to extinguishment. A combination of strategies is being utilized to address the challenges of the fire in the wilderness.

Operations: Firefighters continue aggressive efforts in the area, deploying additional resources to establish containment lines closer to the fire’s edge. Structure protection crews are assigned to surrounding communities. They are strategizing on how to best protect property, infrastructure, and other values at risk, in the event the fire continues to move out of the wilderness area. Heavy equipment, engine, and hand crews will continue to focus along the north to southeast ends of the fire, clearing brush, timber, and tree limbs around the 93, 70, and 76 roads to provide more direct access to the fire and improving containment lines.

Evacuations: The communities of Mesa Pinebetal and Mesa Poleo remain in ‘Set’ status. The community of Wetherill is in ‘Ready’ status. The Coyote Senior Center is open to evacuees, and livestock can be taken to the Rio Arriba Rural Event Center near Abiquiu. The Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office is coordinating evacuations, for more information, visit the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page:

Safety: Please stay out of the fire area to allow crews safe access to the fire. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place around the fire area. Please do not fly drones anywhere near the fire. If you fly, we can’t fly.

Weather: The forecast calls for a higher chance of rain, along with cloudier and more humid conditions. Monsoonal moisture will likely make a stronger push towards the fire. On and off showers are expected beginning at 3 p.m. through the night. Drier weather is anticipated again on Friday, but another strong surge of moisture will occur this weekend. Winds throughout the period are anticipated to be roughly out of the west at 10-15 mph and gusts into the 20s with potential for out-flow winds which can push the fire in any direction.

Restrictions/Closures: Forest Road 103 is closed for firefighter safety and heavy equipment operations. Residential access is available. Please use caution if traveling in the area and refrain from using the continental divide trail along the San Pedro Parks Wilderness section. Road closures are being adjusted based on fire activity.

Smoke: Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures.

Air quality information is available at

Fire Information: 505-460-0499InciWeb:…/nmsnf-black-feather-fire