Lincoln National Forest- Smokey Bear Ranger District- Lone Mountain Fire Update June 30, 2019

Bright green grasses are already growing in an area that was burned by the Lone Mountain Fire only seven days ago and had yet to see rain. This is because of an increase in soil nutrients produced after low-intensity fires.

Incident Name: Lone Mountain Fire

Incident Start Date: May 26, 2019                     

Cause: Lightning

Size: 1,936 acres

Incident Type: Wildfire     

Vegetation Type: Pinyon-Juniper, Grass & Ponderosa Pine

Fire Strategy: Containment

Containment: 30%

Fire Map: LoneMountain_PIO_11x17_20190629_1908


Fire Update: 6/30/2019 — Crews completed back burning the east side of the fire perimeter today and began interior aerial ignitions, which increased the fire size to 1,936 acres. Fire activity within an established planning area will increase over the next few days. Smoke, especially in the afternoon, may be visible from Carrizozo, Capitan and Highway 54.

The Lone Mountain Fire, which started on May 26 from a lightning strike, is in an ideal location to allow fire to fulfill its natural role in the ecosystem. As a fire burns across the landscape at a low to moderate intensity, it reduces wood to ash, which releases nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous back into the soil, acting as a natural fertilizer. This, in turn, stimulates new plant growth. Bright green grasses are already starting to grow in an area that burned only seven days ago and had yet to see rain.

Additional benefits from the Lone Mountain Fire land managers hope to see are a reduction in the number of pinyon-juniper trees and an increase in other types of vegetation like native grasses, flowers, and cactuses. A variety of vegetation types increases habitat diversity and breaks up continuous fuels on the forest floor, which may help decrease the risk of high-severity fires.

For more information on how to protect your health during a wildfire, please visit New Mexico Department of Health website at

Information on the Lone Mountain Fire is available on Inciweb at

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