SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A fire broke out less than two miles from the Winsor Ridge Trailhead at Cowles, approximately 20 miles north of Pecos, Saturday. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation and as of Saturday, June 28, the fire is 100% contained.
- Start date: June 27, 2020
- Location: Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District on the Santa Fe National Forest approximately 1.7 miles from the Winsor Ridge Trailhead at Cowles and approximately 20 miles north of Pecos.
- Containment: 100%
- Size: 2.3 acres
- Structures threatened: Cowles Pond fishing site, Cowles Campground, and Winsor Ridge recreation cabins
- Structures Burned: None
- Evacuations: None
- Cause: Under Investigation
- Personnel: 25
- Vegetation: High concentration of dead and down timber and mixed conifer
- Ownerships: Santa Fe National Forest
The Santa Fe National Forest ordered a closure order Sunday, June 28 for recreation sites, Forest Service roads and trails, and areas within the Pecos Wilderness impacted by the Winsor Ridge Fire. The order is in effect from 6 a.m. Sunday until the Incident Command Post for the Winsor Ridge Fire is demobilized or until it is rescinded earlier.
The order applies to the following areas:
- Cowles Ponds Fishing Site
- Cowles Parking Areas
- Cowles Campground
- Winsor Ridge Trailhead
- Panchuela Campground
- Panchuela Trailhead
- Holy Ghost Trailhead
Forest Service Roads:
- Forest Road 121 (Winsor Canyon Road) from NM Route 63 in its entirety.
- Forest Road 305 (Panchuela Road) from Forest Road 121 in its entirety.
Portions of the Pecos Wilderness:
- Holy Ghost Trail 283 in its entirety to junction of Winsor Trail 254
- Winsor Trail 254 to junction of Skyline Trail 251
- Skyline Trail 251 north to Stewart Lake
- Skyline Trail 251 north of junction of Cave Creek Trail 288
- Cave Creek Trail 288 to Panchuela Trailhead
- Winsor Ridge Trail 271 in its entirety to Winsor Trailhead
Federal, state and local officers, members of an organized rescue team or firefighting force, private landowners crossing National Forest System lands in order to access their property, and any others authorized by Forest Service permit are exempt from the closure order.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect on Monday, June 29 as widespread critical fire weather conditions are expected across New Mexico. While a cold front is predicted by fire crews to travel west to east Monday night, critical fire weather conditions will continue on Tuesday.
Fire crews report that over the weekend, Santa Fe National Forest reported 13 illegal and/or abandoned campfires. Patrols discovered illegal campfires at Stewart Lake and Lake Katherine in the Pecos Wilderness and at Dais Willow and Holy Ghost Campgrounds. Under Stage fire restrictions, charcoal grills and campfires are prohibited.
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