A green pocket of fuel surrounded by black inside the Medio Fire perimeter is burning, putting up visible smoke but posing no threat to any values at risk. Local fire resources are monitoring the interior pocket which is about a quarter of a mile from the Medio Fire’s eastern edge.
Fire managers anticipated the possibility of unburned pockets of fuel igniting and generating smoke until winter weather settles into the area. The 4,010-acre Medio Fire was caused by lightning on Aug. 17 and declared fully contained on Sept. 14. Based on the amount of fuel in the area that is burning now, including several large downed logs, the smoke may continue for a few days.
Warm and dry conditions will continue through Wednesday which is forecast to bring record high temperatures for this time of year and single-digit humidity. A cold front Thursday is expected to drop temperatures by 25 to 35 degrees but conditions will remain very dry.
The closure order remains in effect prohibiting members of the public from entering the area around the Medio Fire, including all Forest Service lands, roads and trails, roughly defined by the Rio Nambe Trail #160 on the north, the Borrego Trail #150 and Forest Road 412 on the east, Forest Road 102 on the south and back up the forest boundary line on the west to meet the Rio Nambe Trail #160. Although the Santa Fe National Forest does not have fire restrictions in place, fire danger is very high due to very low fuel moisture levels and continued hot, dry weather.
About 30% of the fire area burned at high or moderate severity, increasing the potential for post-fire runoff. Although the SFNF does not usually see monsoonal-type precipitation in October, residents of communities downstream from the burned area are advised to stay updated on weather conditions that could result in heavy rains over the Medio Fire footprint. Current weather and emergency notifications can be found on the National Weather Service website and through Alert Santa Fe.