ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - As stormy weather returns to parts of New Mexico residents in and near the burn scars left by forest fires are being warned to be alert for flooding.
"It is important that residents take steps to protect themselves and their property from flooding and mudflows," a statement from the Santa Fe National Forest released Saturday morning said.
The statement urges residents to have an escape plan and to monitor the weather and public safety alerts and to be aware heavy rain falling upstream can flood areas not directly hit by storms.
At about noon Saturday the National Weather Service issued an advisory for flooding in arroyos and streams in the area of the Tres Lagunas Fire burning north of Pecos.
Radar indicated rain was falling at a rate of 0.5-0.75 inches an hour. The advisory expired at 1:15 p.m.
At last report the Tres Lagunas Fire was 95 percent contained after surging through more than 10,000 acres since being sparked by a downed power line on May 30.
With much of the forest closed to public access and State Route 63 open only to residents of the fire zone, businesses in the village of Pecos are suffering as recreation destinations remain off-limits.
"We were counting on June 1st, was the first free fishing day of the year," said Jean Orona, owner of Pecos Canyon Station. "We always count on that day to really start our business off, and when they closed the forest it really affected us."
Orona says sales are down at least 25 percent.
Just west of the Tres Lagunas Fire is the Jaroso Fire, which began on the west side of the mountains north of Santa Fe and has since spread to the east side blackening the Pecos Wilderness and threatening the watershed feeding the Pecos River.
It, too, was sparked by lighting and since June 10 has charred more than 11,100 acres. It is listed as zero percent contained.
Firefighters are currently focused on protecting campgrounds and structures along the Pecos River corridor.
"Although no evacuations have been ordered at this time, residents living in communities south and east of the Jaroso Fire need to be prepared should evacuations be required," a fire update released Saturday morning said.
Rain from thunderstorms on Friday probably did some good, but Sky News 13 flying over the fire also caught lightning strikes.
In southwestern New Mexico the Silver Fire as of Saturday morning had grown to 107,000 acres with containment at 35 percent.
The potential for continued expansion is "extreme," according to the latest online posting by the incident-management team.
The Silver Fire began with a lightning strike near the southern end of the Black Range on June 7 and since then has churned north barely sparing the historic mining town of Kingston, whose residents were forced from their homes for 10 days. Flames are now near Reed's Peak in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation also has warned of smoke obscuring visibility on Interstate 25 east of the fire between Truth or Consequences and Socorro.
Northern New Mexico also is seeing the effects of the West Fork Complex Fire burning in the Rio Grande National Forest north of Pagosa Springs, Colo., and has grown to more than 90,000 acres also with no containment.
Evacuations for the town of South Fork and some other areas have been lifted, but other evacuation orders remain in effect. U.S. Highway 160 over Wolf Creek Pass also has reopened although fire bosses warn it could be closed again if conditions change.
In the Four Corners the San Juan Regional Medical Center is recommending limited physical activity outdoors for those with pre-existing conditions.
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