Lincoln National Forest: New Fire Start – Dark Canyon Fire (Smokey Bear Ranger District)

Incident Name: Dark Canyon Fire

Jurisdiction: Smokey Bear Ranger District, Lincoln National Forest

Size: 0.25 acre

Cause: Lightning

Date/Time Detected: August 4, 2020 at 4:30pm

Location: 9 miles northwest of Capitan, NM north of Tuscon Mountain near Dark Canyon.

Lat/Long: 33°40’0.16″N 105°37’42.61″W

Firefighting Resources: 3 engines, 1 patrol unit, plus additional personnel

Fuel Type: Grass, piñon-juniper, ponderosa pine, dead and down forest debris

Values at Risk: Private Land

Fire Update:  Firefighters responded to a smoke report today in the Dark Canyon area about 9 miles northwest of Capitan, NM in the general area of Tucson Mountain. Upon arrival in this remote part of the forest, they discovered a 0.25-acre fire caused by lightning. The fire was smoldering on the forest floor, moderated by recent monsoonal rains. Fire managers develop a plan for every fire, which includes tactical decisions specific to each incident based on terrain, firefighting resource availability, fuel type, and weather. After a careful assessment, fire managers are using a full-suppression, confine and contain strategy which means fire personnel will hold fire growth to a defined area.  Weather often dictates how a fire will spread. Temperatures in the fire area are in the upper-70s with light winds 5-12 mph. There is a 10-20 percent chance of rain today, which will increase to a 50-60 percent chance of rain by the weekend. There are no structures at risk at this time.

Smoke may be seen from Highway 380 and Highway 246 as firefighters conduct firing operations to establish control lines. Possible fire fuels in the area are grass, piñon-juniper, ponderosa pine, and forest debris. Wet fuels, like those in the fire area, tend to produce a lot of white smoke that will likely linger over the fire area due to the light winds.

Another fire update can be expected tomorrow afternoon. Fire information will be posted on

PIO: Laura Rabon, 505-681-2837

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