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Medio Fire

Unit Information

Santa Fe National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
New Mexico
Santa Fe, NM 87508

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This incident is no longer being updated.

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The Medio Fire started on August 17, 2020, close to the forest boundary with Nambe Pueblo and about 1.5 miles from the Village of Rio en Medio between two streams, the Rio Nambe and the Rio en Medio. Fuels are primarily dry mixed conifer tapering to ponderosa pine at lower elevations. Heavy fuels in steep, rugged terrain add complexity to efforts to control the Medio Fire. Contrary to a traditional monsoon season, fuel moistures are very low for this time of year, and other fire indices are unseasonably high. Fire behavior has ranged from moderate to extreme, driven by terrain and winds. Due to the remote location of the fire and the rugged terrain, the strategy will be a combination of direct and indirect perimeter control and point protection.

The Southwest Area Type 2 Incident Management Team 4, led by Incident Commander Carl Schwope, assumed command of the Medio Fire on Friday, August 21 at 6:00 AM.

Please see the News tab or the Recent Articles heading below for daily updates on the Medio Fire.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginMonday August 17th, 2020 approx. 07:00 PM
LocationOff Rio en Medio Trail on Espanola Ranger District
Incident CommanderJacob Archuleta, Santa Fe National Forest - Type 5
Coordinates35.831 latitude, -105.863 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel203
Size4,010 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained100%
Fuels Involved

Primary carrier of fire has been the timber understory in the ponderosa pine forest. The fire is starting to transition on the western flank into a pinyon pine-juniper fuel type.

Significant Events

Minimal,backing, creeping, smoldering. Fire continues to burn in remote terrain between Pacheco Canyon and Rio Nambe trail. Fire is primarily backing down slope with very limited up slope movement.


Planned Actions

Burn outs have been completed and resources are holding previous burnout operations.

Projected Incident Activity

Fire has burned into the Pacheco fire scar from 2011 on the northeast. Fuel change to green Aspen should significantly reduce fire behavior and movement. Fire has been pulled out to the containment lines and continues to consume ground fuels within the lines.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Warm and dry conditions are expected to continue throughout the week.