Lincoln National Forest- Guadalupe Ranger District- Rawhide Fire 8/16/2019

Incident Name – Rawhide Fire

Jurisdiction: Lincoln National Forest, Guadalupe Ranger District

Size:  2,305 Acres

Cause: Lightning

Date/Time Detected: Aug 8, 2019, 10:00 pm

Location: 5 miles NW of Sitting Bull Falls near Rawhide Canyon.

Values at Risk: None.

Firefighting Resources: 2 Engines, 1 Wildland Fire module.

Total Personnel: 38

Fire Update 8/16/2019: Fire activity on the Rawhide Fire was minimal Thursday because of high humidity levels following rain showers Wednesday evening. Crews continued to monitor the fire throughout the day as thunderclouds passed over the fire. Ignition operations earlier this week were successful and brought the total number of acres burned to approximately 2,305.

Once favorable weather conditions return, a helicopter will be utilized to conduct aerial ignitions along the edges of the already burned areas. As the fire moves across the landscape, it may encounter dense pockets of fuel that may result in increased smoke and fire behavior.  Smoke may be visible from Carlsbad and Queen, NM throughout the weekend.

Parts of the Rawhide Fire planning area had already been identified to be prescribed burn in the future. Instead, fire managers can take advantage of this naturally-started fire to bring positive restorative benefits to the landscape now.  The location of the Rawhide Fire combined with the time of year is ideal to see desired and beneficial results of reducing forest fuels. Unlike fires during the hottest and driest times of the year, the Rawhide Fire occurred when intermittent rains are likely to continue. Recurrent rainfall increases fuel moistures and typically decreases fire behavior. Historically, lightning fires occurred on this landscape every 15-35 years and burned freely under similar conditions.

The Forest Service Road 522 Loop including Road 522B remains closed to the public to ensure firefighter safety. The lightning-caused Rawhide Fire started August 8 about five miles northwest of Sitting Bull Falls in Rawhide Canyon. It is spreading predominately west and is still well within the 21,500-acre planning area. For more information please visit

Please visit the NM Department of Health’s smoke page for information on protecting your health during fires and on smoky days:

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