Gathering Monsoon Both Decreases and Increases Fire Danger

A couple of lightning caused fires that have broken out currently suggest a different pattern of fire danger emerging. The forests are still dry and ready to ignite at any carelessly flicked cigarette butt or abandoned campfire, but the recent weather has brought with it some increased moisture in the forests together with instances of dry lightning storms.

One lightning caused fire is now burning about 5 acres of private land near Edgewood, mostly Piñon and grass with about 30 structures threatened. Another, named the Ojitos Fire, is also lighting caused. It has also grown up to just under 5 acres and is active within the Coyote Ranger District, inside the Chama River Canyon Wilderness. This fire is approximately 5 miles south of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert and ½ mile from the Continental Divide Trail and sits within the 90,000-acre Rio Chama block that has been NEPA cleared for forest restoration.

Neither of these incidents threatens to grow significantly at the moment. The Santa Fe National Forest reports that light winds and sporadic moisture in the area are expected to continue with partly cloudy conditions and isolated showers and thunderstorms through the week as a modest plume of monsoon moisture develops. But moisture levels are still low and with the temperatures very high, the fire danger in the forests continue to be high.

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