NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Crews are battling the Midnight Fire burning in the Carson National Forest north of El Rito in Rio Arriba County. Officials say smoke has been visible as far as Taos, Española, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe. The fire has reached the edge of private lands, officials say structure protection is in progress.

 A Community Meeting will be hosted at the Abiquiu Rural Event Center at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening. 

  • Start Date: June 9
  • Location: Carson National Forest, north of El Rito
  • Containment: 95%
  • Size: 4,896 acres
  • Structures Threatened: No
  • Structures Burned: No
  • Evacuations: No
  • Cause: Unknown
  • Total Personnel: 231
  • Area Vegetation: Mixed Conifer Vegetation
  • Ownership(s): Carson National Forest

The Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office has put he community of Potrero, just south of where the fire started, under a GO evacuation status. Valle de los Cabballos is also in GO status.

The community of El Rito, along with the town of Placitas, Petaca, and State Road 519, is currently under a READY status. The Vallectio community is on SET status.

Supplies and items suggested for an evacuation bag include:

  • Flashlight with plenty of extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medications in their original bottle, plus copies of the prescriptions
  • Eyeglasses (with a copy of the prescription)
  • Water (at least one gallon per person is recommended; more is better)
  • Map of the area
  • Checkbook, cash, and credit cards
  • Phone charger
  • Foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking
  • Items that infants and elderly household members may require
  • Medical equipment and devices such as dentures, crutches, prostheses, etc.
  • Change of clothes for each household member
  • Sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member

Plans for pets include:

  • Identifying shelter
  • Gathering pet supplies
  • Ensuring your pet has proper ID and up-to-date veterinarian records
  • Providing a pet carrier and leash

Take the following steps to shelter a pet:

  • Call local animal shelter, or animal control office to get advice and information
  • Keep veterinary records to prove vaccinations are current
  • Find out which local hotels and motels allow pets and where pet boarding facilities are located.Be sure to research some outside the local area in case local facilities close