The Gallo Peak Fire increased in size over the weekend, and the Forest Service moved from monitoring to suppression of the fire as a result.
According to press releases from the Forest Service, the fire was estimated at 25 acres last Thursday. That size was updated Friday to 36 acres, which the Forest Service said was due to more accurate mapping, and not “accelerated fire behavior.”
On Monday, an update said, “Fire activity picked up over the weekend,” with the size of the fire estimated at 200 acres, “with pockets of unburned fuel in the interior.”
The press release continues, “Since it was first reported on August 30, the fire has been managed with a patrol and monitor strategy as the steep terrain has posed a high risk for firefighter safety. Conditions have been very favorable for low intensity flames to consume woody debris from the forest floor, reducing the risk of high intensity fires while improving forest health and wildlife habitat.”
Over the weekend, fire managers transitioned to a suppression strategy “to prevent the fire from becoming established in heavier fuels and to keep it from reaching the Crest Trail.”
Helicopter bucket drops have slowed the fire’s progression, the Forest Service said.
On Monday, additional people arrived to help, including one Hot Shot crew and several engines, the Forest Service said.
The Forest Service is working with Isleta Pueblo and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s office on the fire.
The Gallo Peak Fire is located approximately 10 miles northwest of Mountainair, in steep terrain in the Mountainair Ranger District. Smoke is visible intermittently from Interstate 25 as well as the east side of the Manzanos.