Wildfire burns 150 acres near Tesuque

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Smoke billows from the Medio Fire burning south of Cundiyo on Tuesday. The fire was estimated at 5 acres at noon but grew quickly in the afternoon. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Fire officials on Tuesday were rallying resources in an effort to fully suppress a fire that broke out Monday in the Santa Fe National Forest north of Santa Fe near Tesuque.

The Medio Fire had grown to more than five acres by noon Tuesday and increased to about 150 acres by midafternoon.

“It sort of unexpectedly pushed up a hillside, so, for a while, once it hit the ridge top, it sent off a big plume of smoke,” said Julie Anne Overton, a spokeswoman with the Santa Fe National Forest.

A passing thunderstorm and an increase in relative humidity worked in the favor of fire crews, she said.

The fire was burning in steep, rocky terrain off the Rio en Medio Trail. The 4-mile out-and-back hiking trail that leads to Rio en Medio Falls is popular with hikers. People were being asked to stay away from the area.

The fire is about two miles east-southeast of Nambé Reservoir and five miles north-northwest of the Santa Fe Ski basin.

The Forest Service said that the fire is within a few miles of Nambé and Tesuque pueblos and the communities of Chupadero and Rio en Medio but that no structures were at risk late Tuesday afternoon.

Overton said the fire was moving east into the Pecos Wilderness Area.

Firefighters with the Española Ranger District, Northern Pueblos Agency and Tesuque Pueblo are at the scene, with additional resources en route. That includes a Type 3 helicopter and a Type 1 hotshot crew.

The fire is burning in ponderosa pine and mixed conifer “and is exhibiting active fire behavior with isolated torching,” the Forest Service says.

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