A lightning-sparked fire  in the Gallinas Unit of the Mountainair Ranger District has grown to more than 100 acres since it started last week and fire fighters have now closed Forest Service Road 102 from the junction with FR 99.

“Fire managers are managing the Buford Fire using a confine and contain strategy within in a pre-determined perimeter as long as conditions allow crews to safely do so,” the release said. “We use predictive service tools and fire behavior models to guide our fire management decisions. The benefit of this strategy will be to reduce hazardous fuels, encourage the growth of native plants, increase species diversity in the understory, restore ecological balance and reduce the potential for future high-severity wildfires.”People visiting the forest should take care of firefighters and their equipment while in the area.“Crews will continue preparations along Forest Road 102 as well as utilize old bulldozer lines all around fire,” the release added.

“These lines were established during the 2004 Lookout Fire and are being utilized as part of the containment line, keeping the fire within the identified planning area. Additional use of hand and aerial ignition operations may occur to reduce the potential for rapid fire spread toward containment features.”Wildlife biologists, range specialist and archaeologists are helping to ensure that natural and cultural resources are protected, the release added.The communication sites on Gallinas Peak, as well as some private land are near the fire, but it is not either at the moment and there are no evacuations in effect, but smoke may be visible from US 42, north of the Gallinas Mountains.

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