Indios Fire: Estimated 4,844 acres burned

Indios Fire: Estimated 4,844 acres burned in northern NM

The Indios Fire in northern New Mexico has now burned an estimated 4,844 acres as of Tuesday, up from 4,210 acres Monday. But, crews say they're letting the fire burn as long as it stays within an area they're maintaining.

COYOTE, N.M. — The Indios Fire in northern New Mexico has now burned an estimated 4,844 acres as of Tuesday, up from 4,210 acres Monday.

The acreage increase from Monday to Tuesday is less than from Sunday to Monday when the fire grew from 2,619 acres to 4,210. Officials say they’ve upped the number of people working on the fire. 440 people are working on the fire, compared to 292 people Monday and 229 people Sunday.

Still, crews haven’t been able to contain the fire at all. However, they’re working to confine it within a certain area using natural barriers. To do that, firefighters are removing and chipping vegetation along existing roads and constructing handlines to connect and build a continuous boundary to restrict the spread of the fire.

Crews also placed a 10,000-gallon portable water tank near the western part of the fire. They did this to provide a water source for firefighters to manage the fire.

Lightning sparked the fire last Sunday, May 19, seven miles north of Coyote. Eight days later, the Southwest Area Complex Incident Management Team 4 took over the fire. Officials say a complex team brings additional resources and management capabilities to get the fire under control.

The main fuel source of the fire is timber and crews are working in a steep, rugged area of the Chama River Canyon Wilderness. They say that topography is also what has driven the fire to grow and spread like it has.

The weather over the next few days will consist of higher temperatures and lower humidity. Then, mid-level clouds will develop over the mountains to offer a small chance of precipitation Tuesday or Wednesday.

In the meantime, smoke will be an issue in nearby Abiquiu. They advise you to take precautions if you have health conditions, such as respiratory problems or heart disease, that make you more susceptible to adverse health effects from the smoke.

In the North Valley of Albuquerque, you can expect moderate air quality Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon as smoke disperses from the fire. Santa Fe will also see moderate air quality Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon while Taos will see it throughout the next two days.

There is an interactive smoke map you can view here to see the last smoke conditions in your area.

The Santa Fe National Forest also has an emergency closure for the Indios Fire. You can find the full closure order and map here.