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EMNRD-Forestry Division
Ute Park Fire - June 5, 2018 Morning Update

Southwest Area Incident Management Team #1

Bea Day - Incident Commander

Critical Fire Weather Returning

Acres: 36,664 acres Percent Containment: 25%
Start Date: May 31, 2018, 2:10pm Cause: Unknown, under investigation
Jurisdiction: NM State Fuels: Grass, Pinyon Juniper, Mixed Conifer
Origin Location: Highway 64 in Ute Park, NM, between Eagle Nest Lake and Cimarron
Resources: 598 personnel including 15 crews, 8 helicopters, 29 engines, 5 bulldozers, 9 water tenders

A community meeting will be held today at 4 pm at the Cimarron High School, located at 165 N. Collison, Cimarron NM 87714. The meeting will be livestreamed at https://facebook.com/uteparkfireinfo . Additional community meetings are also being planned to keep local residents informed.

Fire behavior and smoky conditions are expected to increase this week as a high pressure system is building from the south. There was limited fire activity and smoke visible on the Ute Park Fire yesterday due to wetting rains on Sunday.

Seven hotshot crews are seeking opportunities to build fireline directly on the fire’s west flank in steep and rugged terrain. Helicopters will be supporting firefighters on the ground with dropping water, shuttling food and supplies, etc. Firefighters are also scouting and planning for contingency lines.

Firefighters are building fireline directly on the fire’s south side in the Cathedral Rock area to help minimize impacts to the Cimarroncito and Urraca Watersheds. Firefighters continue hot spotting and securing the fire’s north flank, where fire activity is also limited by the 2002 Ponil Fire burn scar and lighter fuels. Firefighters continue patrolling the fire’s east and south flanks and mopping-up hot spots. A spike camp is being set up at the Philmont Scout Ranch to better support firefighters and minimize travel times.

The evacuation order for Cimarron and the surrounding area was lifted yesterday and residents are returning home.

Power was restored to the community of Ute Park on Monday. A mandatory evacuation order is still in place and 219 structures remain threatened. Firefighters are completing structure protection measures in the area, setting up hose lays and sprinklers systems in the event that burning operations around the community become necessary.

No homes have burned on the Ute Park Fire. Fourteen outbuildings burned on the Philmont Scout Ranch on May 31.

Firefighters are working to suppress this fire where they can do so safely and effectively. Values at risk include public and firefighter safety, the community of Ute Park, the Philmont Scout Ranch, the Cimarroncito and Urraca Watersheds, Cimarron Canyon State Park, private lands, economic benefits from tourism and recreation in the area, and air quality.

Use the 5-3-1 visibility method to protect your health from smoke: https://bit.ly/2jJwwd7 . Air Monitoring Resources are available online at https://bit.ly/2tm1VG6, https://bit.ly/2sqcLJ4, and https://bit.ly/2Jj0c98 .

The Red Cross is operating a shelter at the Eagle Nest Senior Center at 74 N. Tomboy Dr., Eagle Nest, NM.

Call 511 or visit http://nmroads.com/ for current road information. US 64 is closed eastbound and westbound from mile marker 287 to mile marker 309 at Cimarron. Road and utility crews are repairing damaged sections of Highway 64 and utility poles impacted by the fire. NM 204 is closed north and south of mile marker 0 to mile marker 10.

Cimarron State Park is closed. Eagle Nest Lake State Park is open, but Eagle Nest Lake is closed to boating as firefighting helicopters are utilizing the lake as a water source. The Carson National Forest has temporary closure of the East Side of Valle Vidal Unit as a precaution to potential fire spread – visit https://bit.ly/2LZtHi3  for details.

Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. More info visit Know Before You Fly, http://knowbeforeyoufly.org 

Ute Park Fire Info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5820/  (air quality info, maps, etc.) and http://nmfireinfo.com 
Colfax County Emergency Management Information: https://bit.ly/2LbNdXh 
Public Line: (505) 309-0751 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

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