The BLM Socorro Field Office responded to a report of a fire on 7/26, taking initial action to suppress the fire which was burning in heavy riparian vegetation on the west side of the Rio Grande. By early morning on July 27 fire activity was minimal, but a thunderstorm at midday pushed the fire to the northeast, and windblown embers crossed the river. Two spot fires flared up but were extinguished with the assistance of helicopter bucket drops. Despite the marshy nature of the area, dozer lines were established where possible, and firefighters worked through the night as fire intensity subsided. Burn out operations were undertaken to strategically remove fuel in front of the fire’s head. Thunderstorms with erratic winds created active fire behavior on July 28. Firefighters and bulldozers constructed containment lines, and helicopter bucket drops cooled hot spots. A type 1 crew with an engine and dozer worked the night shift last night.
The fire is burning under an El Paso Electric Cooperative power line, but no poles have been lost. Other values at risk include Fort Craig Historic Site, numerous cultural sites, and the railroad trestle five miles northeast of Fort Craig.
Drivers on I-25 and on the Fort Craig entrance road should be alert for the presence of firefighting vehicles and there may be smoke visible on I-25 south in the Socorro area.