Smoke, Terrain Makes Mapping NM Fire Tough, Jaroso Fire Growth Downsized

Jun 13, 2013

Credit Brian Egolf via Twitter

Fire managers say infrared mapping shows a wildfire burning in the Pecos Wilderness of northern New Mexico has not burned as much territory as originally thought.

Fire information officer Lawrence Lujan says heavy smoke, intense heat and rugged terrain have made it difficult for managers to size up the Jaroso Fire.

On Wednesday, they estimated it had ballooned to 12 square miles. An overnight infrared flight now puts the burned area at more than 5 square miles.

A top-level management team assumed responsibility for battling the fire Thursday.

So far efforts have been limited to aerial attack. That's because it's too dangerous for firefighters on the ground due to the steep and rugged terrain and dense forest.

So far no structures are threatened by the fire, which was started Monday by lightning.