MOUNTAINAIR, N.M. (KRQE) – Crews are responding to a large wildland fire near New Mexico 337 and Raquel Road near Chilili. The fire started on July 8. Cibola National Forest officials say the Ojo de Los Casos fire is burning on the north end of the Manzano Mountains near the 2016 Dog Head fire scar. Heavy smoke is visible in Albuquerque, the East Mountains, and Estancia.

  • Start Date: July 8, 2020, around 6 p.m.
  • Location: 7 miles southwest of Chilili and 9 miles northwest of Tajique NM 337 and Raquel Rd. near Chilili, north end of the Manzano Mountains
  • Evacuations: None
  • Containment: 100%
  • Size: 180 acres
  • Structures Threatened: None at this time
  • Structures Burned: None at this time
  • Cause: Human
  • Total Personnel: 130
  • Area Vegetation: Ponderosa pine, Slash
  • Smoke: Little to no smoke has been reported as being emitted from the fire.
  • Ownerships: U.S. Forest Service, Cibola National Forest Mountainair Ranger District
  • Closures: A 5-mile temporary flight restriction is in place over the fire for the safety of aviation and ground resources. The fire area will be temporarily closed to fuelwood harvest for firefighter and public safety.
  • Estimated Containment Date: Monday, July 13, 2020
Map of Ojo de Los Casos Fire. | July11,2020 | Courtesy of InciWeb

Fire officials say a total of four hotshot crews are battling the fire. Fire officials say Torrance, Santa Fe County Fire Departments, and the Bernalillo County Fire Department have also been requested for additional help.

All residents in the area are encouraged to pay close attention to this fire in case evacuations become necessary. The Bernalillo County Fire Dept. reported that no evacuations in Bernalillo County have been ordered at this time. Fire officials advise avoiding the area.

The Albuquerque Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team will be managing the fire and arrived on Thursday. The fire is burning on Forest Service land and private land.

Fire officials remind the public that the area is a no-drone zone. If drones are illegally flown over a wildfire, air operations can be suspended.

Crews stated that the eastern spread of the fire has slowed considerably as it reached the burn scar from the 2016 Dog Head Fire. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and an investigation is underway.

The Albuquerque Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team will be transitioning the command of the Ojo de los Casos Fire to the Cibola National Forest and New Mexico State Forestry and will be managed by a local Type 4 interagency organization. On Friday, July 17, fire officials report that steady rains fell over the fire Thursday evening and night.

The fire has been declared 100% contained at 180-acres. Crews will be working Friday and will be released at the end of the day. Officials report local crews will continue to monitor the fire for any signs of heat in the upcoming days.

  • Sky News 13 flies over fire burning in Manzano Mountains near Chilili. July 8, 2020
  • Photo Courtesy of Devon. July 8, 2020. Fire burning in Manzano Mountains.