Soldier Canyon Fire Update -6/9/18 11:38 am

Incident Name – Soldier Canyon Fire

Jurisdiction: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mescalero Apache

Date/Time Detected: 6/7/2018 3:00 pm

Location: Soldier Canyon. 1 Mile North of the town of Mescalero

Lat/Long: Lat: 33°, 10′, 16.83″, Lon: 105°, 46′, 8.39″

Legal Description: T13S, R12E, NESW Sec 22

Firefighting Resources: 7 Type-1 Hotshot Crews, 2 Type-2 Hand Crews, 22 Engines, 2 Type-1 Helicopters, 1 Type-2 Helicopters, 2 Type-3 Helicopters, Fixed Wing aircraft as needed.

Fuel Type: Ponderosa Pine, Mixed Conifer, Pinon Juniper

Size: Approx. 1,316 Acres (Acreage numbers updated after more accurate mapping.)

Containment: 5%

Cause: Human-caused, under investigation.

Closures: Highway 70 is open in both directions. Mescalero Apache Tribe has issued an official closure notice for the fire area.

Status: There was minimal growth of the fire overnight. The Type 1 Southwest Area Incident Management Team 2, led by Incident Commander John Pierson, assumed command of the fire this morning at 6 a.m. The initial attack air and ground resources did an excellent job suppressing the fire and protecting the values at risk, including the Windy Point and Shadow Ridge areas, the White Mountain Subdivision, Mescalero High School, Tri-State power lines, and air quality.

Today firefighters are working to complete containment lines around the fire’s perimeter, supported by water and retardant-dropping aircraft.  Fire activity is predicted to be moderate today with the potential for thunderstorms this afternoon and gusty outflow winds. Structure protection groups are in place, assessing homes and creating contingency plans in the event structures become threatened by fire spread.  No structures have been impacted by the fire.

The fire is burning on Tribal land on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, approximately one mile north of the town of Mescalero, NM.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for Blank Canyon, White Mountain subdivision, the Windy Point and Shadow Ridge areas, homes along US 70 from mile post 245 to 248 on the northside of the highway are also evacuated.  The Red Cross is operating an evacuation center at the Mescalero Community Center. Highway 70 will remain open as long as it is not impacted by the fire. Law enforcement may stop traffic for short periods of time during heavy fire suppression activity. Please do not stop along the highway.

The Mescalero Apache Tribe appreciates all the support they are receiving and offers for donations. They are currently accepting food and drink at the Mescalero Community Center.

If you are concerned about air quality, please visit the NM Department of Health’s smoke page:  

For evacuation information  call BIA Law Enforcement – 575 464 9129.


Media and Congressional Contact: Pascal Enjady, 575-973-1113.

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