The Francisquito Fire was detected on July 13th on the El Rito Ranger District of the Carson National Forest, approximately 7 miles north of the community of El Rito. The fire is creeping with low to moderate fire behavior and is not a threat to any values at risk. Firefighters will use ignitions to continue to treat this area.
Access to the fire is difficult so firefighters have scouted the area for opportunities to find roads or other natural barriers to use to confine the fire to a certain area. The forest just north of these fires already burned in 2018 as part of the Alamosa Prescribed Fire which will provide an opportunity to limit fire spread.
After taking into consideration the fire’s location, the fuels it is burning in, considerable green-up in the forest, and current and predicted precipitation, the Carson National Forest decided to manage these fires to achieve multiple resource benefits. The forest’s first priority is always firefighter and public safety. Allowing the fire to naturally thin the forest and take out the weaker, more diseased trees will improve forest health, range land, and wildlife habitat.
Due to the location of the fire and its elevation, smoke will be visible from surrounding communities including Taos, Peñasco, Española, Abiquiu, and El Rito area. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with heart or respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. For information on air quality and protecting your health, please visit https://nmtracking.org/fire. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://facnm.org/smoke/ or contact the El Rito Ranger District 575-581-4554.