Lincoln National Forest – FINAL UPDATE 8/18/16 6 pm – Lawyer Fire 90% Contained

Lawyer Fire

8/18/16 – 6:00 pm Fire Update – The Lawyer Fire is now 90% contained.  Firefighters expect to increase containment over the next couple of days.   

This will be the LAST UPDATE, UNLESS, there is a significant change to report.

8/17/16 – 7:30 pm Fire Update – No change to report on the Lawyer Fire today.  Next update will be provided Thursday evening.

8/16/16 – 9:00 pm Fire Update – No change to report on the Lawyer Fire today.  Next update will be provided Wednesday evening.

8/15/16 – 5:30 pm Fire Update – The Lawyer Fire was mostly monitored today.  The containment is still 50% and the fire size remains the same at 570 acres.

8/15/16 – 8:30 am Fire Update – One firefighter has sustained a minor injury and has been released from the Lawyer Fire.  Firefighters plan to continue efforts to limit the fire’s growth, which still remains at 570 acres.  While the fire area has received spotty precipitation, lightning has also accompanied the rain showers.  When firefighters are notified that a storm is moving towards the Lawyer Fire, they retreat to safe locations until the storm has passed.  This is a standard safety protocol during any wildland fire response.  The number one priority on all incidents is public and firefighter safety.

8/14/16 – 9:30 pm Fire Update – Fire size remains at 570 acres and is now reported to be 50% contained.  Firefighters focused efforts on the west side of the fire and interior pockets of fuel that continue to burn, even through light precipitation events over the past two days  The southeastern portion of the fire has cooled down, however, some low to moderate fire behavior is still present in drainages.  All firefighting operations are going well.  The number of personnel assigned to the fire is 24.

Regarding smoke, in the event of a prescribed fire or wildfire: If visibility becomes lower because of smoke, please visit the NM Department of Health’s smoke page:

8/13/16 – 8:30 pm Fire Update – Fire size on the Lawyer Fire remains at 570 acres.  No new growth reported despite stormy conditions over the fire area, that included an increased winds and light precipitation. Today, firefighters continued to secure control lines and tended to unburned fuels within the fire perimeter.

Burn Out:  setting fire inside a control line to consume fuel between the edge of the fire and the control line.

8/12/16 – 7:30 pm Fire Update – Fire size on the Lawyer Fire increased to 570 acres.  Firefighters were able to hold control lines as storm conditions developed over the fire area today.  The previous day’s work proved successful as wind tested the fire lines.

8/11/16 – 8:30 pm Fire Update – Fire size on the Lawyer Fire increased to 70 acres today.  Firefighters were successful in constructing and securing some of the control lines and implementing some burn out operations.  They will continue with similar efforts tomorrow.  Today’s increased humidity was a factor in moderating fire behavior.

8/11/16 – 12:30 pm Fire Update – The fire has grown to 52 acres and additional firefighting resources are on scene, including a Type 1 Hotshot (hand) Crew. A confinement strategy remains in place for this fire and it is expected that there will be additional fire growth as firefighters secure control lines.  Locations for control lines have been identified and unburned fuel is present between the wildfire and the control lines.  Once the control lines are well established and secure (by constructing handline) firefighters will utilize burn out operations to burn the fuels that are in the path of the oncoming wildfire.  Smoke emissions will increase during the burn out operations and smoke will be visible from Queen, NM and the surrounding area.

8/9/16   7:30 pm Fire Update – The fire is now estimated to be 40 acres in size.  One engine and 4 personnel remain assigned to the fire and are expecting the arrival of a Type I (20 person) Hotshot crew on Wednesday (8/10/16) morning.  Given the number of resources assigned to the fire, the location of the fire and the burning conditions, the most appropriate response strategy is to “confine” the fire.

Confinement is the strategy employed in appropriate management responses where a fire perimeter is managed by a combination of direct and indirect actions and use of natural topographic features, fuel, and weather factors.

While the fire is under a confinement strategy, there may be added growth in acres.  Once additional firefighting resources arrive on scene, the strategy will be re-evaluated.  As the fuels are burning at a low intensity and the fire is spreading gradually, the decision may be made to continue to utilize roads, trails, rock outcrops, or other natural barriers, along with some direct line construction to stop the fire’s spread.  This means that some fire growth is anticipated as the fire works its way to those pre-identified barriers.  Firefighters remain assigned and engaged. Safety measures are increased significantly by employing this management strategy (confine) which contributes to reducing/minimizing hazards and risks.

INITIAL FIRE UPDATE: 8/9/16 8:20 am

Jurisdiction: Lincoln National Forest, Guadalupe Ranger District

Date/Time Detected: 8/8/16  2:42 pm

Location: Approximately 10 miles northwest of Queen, NM, near Lawyer Dirt Tank.

Lat/Long: 32 deg, 18 min, 37.94 sec X 104 deg, 50 min, 48.49 sec

Legal Description: T23S, R21E, Sec 18

Firefighting Resources:  One Forest Service Engine and Type I Hotshot Crew – approximately 24 personnel (updated on 8/14/16 – 9:30 pm)

Injuries:  1 (updated on 8/15/16 – 8:30 am)

Values at Risk: None

Hazards: None

Size: 570 acres (updated on 8/13/16 – 8:30 pm)

Containment:  90% (updated on 8/18/16 – 6:00 pm)

Cause: Lightning

Status: This fire was reported around mid-afternoon on Monday (8/8/16). Forest Service firefighters responded to the fire, which they estimated to be approximately 2 acres in size.  The fire is burning in grass, brush and pinon juniper with flame lengths of 3 – 6 inches. Given the current fuel and weather conditions, there is a high spread potential (10 – 50 acres).

PIO: Loretta Benavidez,  575-430-5546

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