Lincoln National Forest: Cherry Fire Update July 18, 2020

Jurisdiction: Lincoln National Forest, Sacramento Ranger District

Size: 3/4 of an acre

Date Detected: July 16, 2020

Cause: Lightning                                                        

Lat/Long: 32°50’32.1″N, 105°49’54.49″W

Fuel Type:  Ponderosa Pine, Pińon-Juniper, Oak Brush              

Values at Risk: None                                     

Location: 0.6 miles west of West Side Road in Cherry Canyon. Approximately 7.5 miles from High Rolls.

Fire Update: Yesterday afternoon thunderstorms dropped rain on the Cherry Fire, which remains at ¾ of an acre. Firefighters constructed containment lines around the east side of the fire yesterday. Firefighters will continue to scout the area looking for containment options. Fire behavior may pick up in the late morning as increasing temperatures dry out the moisture from yesterday’s rain, and the fire begins to consume pine needles and branches on the forest floor. This may produce a column of smoke.  This remains a low-intensity fire that is smoldering and creeping along the understory.  When a wildfire occurs, fire managers develop a plan to suppress it where conditions and terrain are favorable to firefighters and we can do so safely. Fire managers are using a confine and contain strategy, which means fire personnel are holding fire growth to a defined area. They may use existing roads, natural fire breaks, handlines, dozer lines, and firing operations to implement this strategy. There are no values at risk in the immediate fire area, as this is a remote part of the forest.

Smoke: Smoke may be seen from Alamogordo, West Side Road, High Rolls, Mountain Park, and the Alamo Peak area. Smoke will drift to the northeast today towards Mountain Park and may settle into areas adjacent to the fire overnight.

Weather: Weather often dictates how a fire will spread. Temperatures in the mid-80s are expected today with winds out of the south/southwest at 10-15 mph. This evening, winds will once again shift to come from the south/southeast. There is a 20 percent chance of rain this afternoon.

Daily fire updates can be expected each afternoon until they are no longer warranted.

PIO: Laura Rabon, 505-681-2837; laura.rabon@usda.gov

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