BLM Las Cruces District – Uvas Fire – June 8th Evening Update

Location:  Uvas Mountains on BLM Land, approximately 11 miles SW of Hatch, NM and 18 miles N of Interstate 10 between Deming and Las Cruces, NM.

Date detected:  June 6, 2020  Cause: Lightning  Vegetation: Grass, Brush, Pinon, Juniper

Current size:  Estimated 831 acres

Percent contained:  20%

Summary:  The Uvas Fire was started by lightning from a thunderstorm that moved over the southern portion of New Mexico on the evening of June 5th. The fire was detected the next day, as smoke became very visible from Hatch and travelers along I-10, and I-25. An aerial reconnaissance flight was conducted as BLM fire engines mobilized to the area.

Initially, during the first burning period, the fire was burning along the top of the mountain range at an elevation of 6500 ft., surrounded by steep, rugged terrain.

Resources: 4 Engines staffed with 14 firefighters and four overhead personnel for a total of 18 assigned personnel.

Today: The Red Flag Warning did materialize today with peak winds speeds clocked at 40 mph. This resulted in active fire behavior that included uphill and wind-driven runs and in some areas, the fire was backing down slopes. Type 3 Incident Commander, Jesse Holguin, stated, “Air Tankers assisted in the firefight today by conducting a total of seven retardant drops near the edges of the fire perimeter and cooling down interior hot spots. The aerial support mission was successful in helping firefighters fortify the fireline along the northern edges of the fire perimeter.” Due to today’s windy conditions, smoke columns over the fire were less visible from Hatch, Las Cruces and surrounding areas, as well as I-10 (between Deming and Las Cruces) and I-25 (south of T or C). Winds were beneficial in dispersing most of the smoke.

Firefighter and public safety remain the top priority on the Uvas Fire.

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