Pine Lodge Fire Update June 25, 2019

Incident Name – Pine Lodge Fire

Jurisdiction: Lincoln National Forest, Smokey Bear Ranger District

Size: 9,053 acres

Containment: 5%

Containment Strategy: Full Suppression

Cause: Unknown, Under Investigation

Date/Time Detected: June 19, 2019, at approximately 2:00 pm

General Location: Off Highway 246 about 4 miles up Forest Service Road 130 near the Capitan Mountain Wilderness

Lat/Long: Lat: 33°, 37′ 28.6″ Long:-105°, 14′, 40″

Legal Description: T8S, R17E, SESE Sec 10

Total Personnel: Approx. 513

Fuel Type: Grass, Pinyon-Juniper, Mix Conifer

Values at Risk: Radio Towers, Cabins, 15 Structures in the Arabela area.

Community Meeting Well Attended: Last night a community meeting was held at the Capitan Traylor Gymnasium and was well attended. We hope your concerns and questions were answered. If not, please call the fire information phone number listed above. A Facebook Live recording of the meeting is available for viewing on the Lincoln National Forest Facebook page (link below). 

 The support by the community was greatly appreciated and was relayed to our firefighters this morning at briefing. Thank You! 

Fire Activity: The strategy, planning and hard work of the fire crews and fire staff are making positive steps in getting a better handle on the Pine Lodge Fire. Due to erratic winds the last few days, the fire has been pushed in multiple directions. Similar weather conditions will support continued movement to the northwest with active fire behavior in pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine. The northern perimeter will exhibit backing and uphill runs while along the southern perimeter in higher elevation, fire has the potential of east and west spread within the wilderness. Overall, fire behavior was moderate overnight but remained active in the heavy fuels within the wilderness.

Today: On the north side of the fire, crews reduced fuel loads by chipping along the roadway and prepping areas near structures. Most of the fire crew activity was focused on prepping and firing to reduce forest litter as a precaution for fire movement near the 616 and 256 roads. There is potential for using fire to burn off some of the heavy fuels under controlled conditions off NM State Road 256 (Seven Cabins Road).

Expect to see a large volume of smoke over the fire as a result of today’s planned burnout operations. 

Road Closures: NM State Road 246 from Capitan to Roswell is closed (local access only). For status on road closures, citizens are encouraged to call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department at 575-648-2341. 

Lincoln National Forest Closure:  Capitan Mountain to Capitan Gap Road. For current information go to the Lincoln National website listed below.

Weather: A frontal system has bought an increase in cooler temperatures and slightly higher humidities are helping reduce fire activity.

Smoke Impact: A smoke advisory is in effect for areas surrounding the Pine Lodge Fire until 10am. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at People with health concerns can also call NMDOH at 505-827-0006 for additional information.

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