28.2 mi
SSE of Albuquerque, NM
1 monthago
Fire Status:
Last Updated:
5 days ago
Incident #:
Fire Start:
Saturday, October 30, 2021 3:30 AM MDT

Current Weather

Fire Growth Potential

Fire Weather Forecast

Incident Overview Updated: 1 month ago

Incident Photo for the Thunderbird Fire

Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands 2113 Osuna Road NE Albuquerque, NM 87113 (505) 346-3900 www.fs.usda.gov/cibola www.facebook.com/cibolanf twitter.com/cibola_nf
Media Contact: Arlene Perea
O: 505-847-2990
C: 505-506-1959 

Mountainair Ranger District Plans for Weekend Prescribed Burn in the Thunderbird Area

Starting October 30 Albuquerque, NM – October 29, 2021 – Pending favorable conditions, fire managers on the Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands (NF & NGs) may implement the previously announced Thunderbird prescribed fire on the Mountainair Ranger District on Saturday, Oct. 30 and possibly continue Sunday Oct. 31 if necessary. Fire crews are looking at burning 148 acres on the Thunderbird Ecosystem Management Project. The burn unit is located north of FR 275 and west of Game Road. The Cibola NF & NGs manages all prescribed fires in compliance with New Mexico state regulations on air quality and smoke management. Smoke may be visible in the surrounding areas of Game Road, Mountainair, Punta de Agua, Manzano, the Estancia Valley or west Manzano communities such as Rio Communities, Belen or Los Lunas. The decision to proceed continues to depend on multiple factors, including resource availability, fuel moisture levels, air quality and forecast weather.  Prescribed burns are designed to meet specific objectives and are always managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority. Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems and reducing the risk of high-severity wildfire. Fire managers use prescribed fire to improve forest health, remove hazardous fuels, increase firefighter safety, enhance wildlife habitat, and protect communities and watersheds. With fire there is smoke, but compared to wildfires, prescribed fires are shorter in duration and are conducted under weather conditions to minimize the impact of smoke on the public. Fire crews use tactics such as starting early in the day and ending ignitions early in the afternoon to allow for the most ventilation possible throughout the burn and dividing blocks into smaller units to minimize smoke impacts as much as possible. However, smoke may be visible periodically from local communities and the surrounding areas for the duration of the project until the burning vegetation is out. 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. All fire updates will be posted on the Cibola NF & NGs website, New Mexico Fire Information website and on the  Cibola NF & NGs Facebook & Twitter pages. For more information on the Thunderbird prescribed fire, contact the Mountainair Ranger District Office at 505-847-2990 or Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands Supervisor’s Office: 505-346-3900 The Forest Service mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

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Basic Information

Incident Type:
Prescribed Fire
Date of Origin:
Saturday, October 30, 2021 9:30 AM MDT
10 miles NW of Mountainair
Incident Commander:
Anthony Martinez, Brent Baca (Trainee)
Incident Description:
This is a continuation burn within the Thunderbird Ecosystem Management Project.
34.589, -106.388

Current Situation

Total Personnel:
Size (Acres):
Estimated Containment Date:
Sunday, October 31, 2021 5:00 PM MDT
Fuels Involved:
Ponderosa Pine, Pinon/Juniper and thinning slash
Significant Events:
Planned ignition around 10am

Planned Outlook

Planned Actions:
Ignite 148 acres in planned pattern for optimal burn conditions.
Projected Incident Activity:
Burn was completed on Saturday. All mop-up complete. Interior smokes may continue for a few days but all lines are secure. Firefighters will continue monitoring.
Burn was successfully completed on Saturday. Light interior smokes continue. Mop-up is complete. Firefighters will monitor burn area throughout the week.

Weather Synopsis

Weather Concerns:
Smoke ventilation predicted to be fair on Saturday.

Incident Contact

Incident Contact
Arlene Perea
Email: arlene.perea@usda.gov
Phone: 505-506-1956
Hours: 8am-8pm
Fire Unit Information
Cibola National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2113 Osuna Rd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113