Firefighters called to blaze near El Rito, then rain sent them away

Fire only at 5 acres, with 51 firefighters left on site

By Cody Hooks
chooks@taosnews.com
Posted 6/17/19

After a strike of lightning started the modest Gurule Fire earlier this month, the Carson National Forest planned to use the opportunity to go ahead and clean out a section of the forest around El …

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Firefighters called to blaze near El Rito, then rain sent them away

Fire only at 5 acres, with 51 firefighters left on site

Posted

After a strike of lightning started the modest Gurule Fire earlier this month, the Carson National Forest planned to use the opportunity to go ahead and clean out a section of the forest around El Rioto, much as it would with a prescribed burn.

By Saturday (June 15), more than 130 people and several engines were staged to manage the blaze under a “modified suppression strategy,” according to the Forest Service.

“Dozers are reopening old roads for use as fire containment lines, and firefighter crews are clearing brush and felling trees along these lines in preparation for firing operations when conditions are favorable,” read the Saturday press release.

But conditions changed. The hot-and-dry stretch gave way to rains, which dampened the area about 10 miles northwest of El Rito “to the extent that planned firing operations have been temporarily suspended,” read a Sunday update.

Most engines and firefighters are now being dispatched elsewhere, though 51 personnel remain on site.

“If a drying trend makes firing operations feasible within a reasonable time frame, additional resources may be ordered to resume the modified suppression strategy,” read the Sunday news release.

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