Lincoln National Forest: Dark Canyon Fire Update August 9, 2020

Dark Canyon FireJurisdiction: Smokey Bear Ranger District, Lincoln National Forest

Size: 420 acres

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

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

Values at Risk: Private Land

Fire Update: Crews continued to conduct firing operations along the ridge north of Tucson Mountain and south of the fire, creating a fire line that is slowly backing down the canyon towards the fire perimeter. The commonly used firefighting technique is also called backburning, and it involves setting a controlled fire in the path of the approaching wildfire. A heavy equipment operator constructed a bulldozer line around a section of private land west of the fire. The entire fire perimeter remains on Forest Service system lands. Fire resources on scene include 1 Type-6 engine, 1 Bulldozer, 2 Resource Advisors, plus additional support personnel. Resource Advisors are working together with firefighting personnel to identify potential resource issues that may occur as a result of the fire. Resource Advisors have a unique role during a wildfire. They locate archaeological sites that need special protection, notify agency administrators of any threatened or endangered species in the area (in this case there are none), and develop recommendations for rehabilitation of fire suppression control lines. Fire size is likely to continue to grow over the coming days.

Smoke: Firing operations will increase smoke in the fire area and will be visible from Highway 380 and Highway 246. Please visit the NM Department of Health’s smoke page at for information on protecting your health on smoky days.

Weather: Weather is a large contributing factor to wildfire spread. Temperatures today were in low 80s with a 20 percent chance of rain. Humidity levels fluctuated between 50-25 percent throughout the day and will increase tonight to approximately 55 percent before dropping into the teens tomorrow as temperatures increase to the upper 80s. Winds today and tomorrow will be 5-10 mph.

More Info: Fire updates will occur each afternoon until no longer warranted.

PIO: Laura Rabon, 505-681-2837

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