Soldier Canyon Fire Update June 12, 9:00 AM

Soldier Canyon Fire Morning Update – June 12, 2018 – 9:00am

Jurisdiction: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mescalero Apache Reservation

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

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

Firefighting Resources: 418 personnel total. 7 Type-1 Hotshot Crews, 3 Type-2 Hand Crews,

14 Engines, 1 Type-1 Helicopter, 1 Type-2 Helicopter, 2 Type-3 Helicopters. Fixed-wing aircraft on request.

Fuel Type: Ponderosa Pine, Mixed Conifer, Pinon Juniper

Size: Approx. 1,300 Acres

Containment:  90%

Cause: Human-caused, under investigation.

Closures: Mescalero Apache Tribe has issued a closure order for the fire area to protect the public.

Containment on the Soldier Canyon Fire is nearly complete. Helicopters dropped water yesterday to assist crews working in steep, rugged terrain on the fire’s northwest flank to secure the fire’s edge. Fire activity      was limited to smoldering, creeping, and isolated tree torching. Unburned islands of vegetation within the fire perimeter will continue to produce smoke in the coming days.

Firefighters working the Soldier Canyon Fire are prepared to mobilize to new fires in the area. Aerial reconnaissance planes have been assisting local resources as they respond to reports of new fire starts.

New Mexico Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez visited the fireline yesterday and talked with firefighters.

A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team and fireline resource advisors are evaluating the fire area to identify culturally sensitive and erosion-prone areas.

A high pressure system is in place over the region, causing hot and dry conditions in the fire area.        Hurricane Bud is currently located off the Baja Peninsula, and may track north into New Mexico later in the week. Fire managers and Tribal representatives are watching this storm closely to anticipate its effect on the  fire area and possible severe flooding. Residents are advised to stay informed as this weather pattern progresses.

The Type 1 Southwest Area Incident Management Team will transfer command of the Soldier Canyon Fire to the Type 3 Pecos Zone Incident Management Team tomorrow morning. “On behalf of Southwest Area Team 2, we’d like to thank the Mescalero Agency BIA, Mescalero Apache Tribe, and all of the local cooperators for their excellent work on the fire,” said Soldier Canyon Fire Incident Commander John Pierson.

Residents and visitors using Highway 70 are urged to be aware of heavy equipment and firefighters traveling the highway and through populated areas. Residents and visitors should be aware that fire restrictions are in place, which prohibit campfires, use of any flame-producing device, recreational shooting, or use of gas motors other than those contained in automobiles.

PUBLIC INFORMATION NUMBER  (575) 322-8792, email:

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