Pine Lodge Fire Update June 29, 2019

Incident Name – Pine Lodge Fire

Jurisdiction: Lincoln National Forest, Smokey Bear Ranger District

Size: 12,828 acres

Containment: 33%

Containment Strategy: Full Suppression

Cause: Unknown Under Investigation

Date/Time Detected: Thursday, June 19, 2019, at approximately 2:00 p.m.

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: Approximately 438

Fuel Type: Grass, Pinyon-Juniper, Mix Conifer

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

Warmer, drier weather ahead for the Pine Lodge Fire

Fire Activity: Although thunderstorms moved through the area, fire activity continues to be moderate as there has been no measurable precipitation. There is minimal chance for moisture over the weekend and fire behavior is expected to slightly increase over the next few days. Due to the recent drying trend, fire behavior is predicted to be most active in the Copeland Canyon area as well as near Capitan Peak. Fire will continue to move through unburned pockets, consuming heavy fuels. A reconnaissance flight by incident aircraft reported minimal fire growth on the Summit Fire, which was detected in the wilderness a few days ago.

Operations: Crews continue to mop-up and monitor control lines from Lowe’s Ranch to Forest Service Road 5657. Fire crews were able to construct direct hand line on the fire’s edge near Hunter’s Cabin. The sprinkler system utilized for structure protection for the Pine Lodge Cabin was removed along with any remaining fire apparatus. Fire personnel scouted contingency lines along the southern base of the Capitan Mountains. Along Seven Cabins Road, crews continued to perform suppression repair work through chipping woody material, scattering vegetation, replacing fence posts, and seeding. Today, crews will continue to improve control lines near Copeland Canyon in preparation for any fire movement to the west. Pine Lodge Fire personnel assisted NM State Forestry in responding to the Blackwater Fire, 10 miles southeast of Arabela. For more information on the Blackwater Fire, contact the NM State Forestry-Capitan District Office at (575)354-2231. Initial attack personnel are available and ready to respond to any new fire starts.

Smoke and Weather: Very little smoke was generated from the Pine Lodge Fire last couple days. However, that is expected to pick up with fire behavior as weather changes. Only ten percent chance of rain is in the forecast. Temperatures are expected to rise and humidity will decrease. For additional information go to NM Fire Info https://nmfireinfo.com/smokemanagement/.

Road Closures: NM State Road 246 from Capitan to Roswell continues to be closed, local residents will be allowed to access their home or property. For status on road closures, citizens are encouraged to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department at 575-648-2341.

Lincoln National Forest Closure: An area closure is in place for Capitan Mountains east of Capitan Gap Road until further notice. All trail systems and Forest Service roads within the closure area are closed to public use. West Mountain is open for recreation. The official closure information and map is posted on the Pine Lodge Fire InciWeb page at:https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/6397/49353/

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