Dark Canyon Fire Update: August 17, 2020

Size: 2,527 acres

Containment: 10%

Cause: Lightning

Location: 9 miles northwest of Capitan, NM

Total Personnel: 45

Lat/Long: 33°40’0.16″N 105°37’42.61″W

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

Date/Time Detected: 8/4/20 at 4:30 pm

Dark Canyon Fire Maps

Fire Update: On Sunday, the Dark Canyon Fire received up to ¼ inch of rain which lessened fire activity and intensity. Firefighting resources are beginning to demob and be assigned to other fires in the country. Remaining fire resources will continue with the plan to encircle the main fire with control lines via back burning operations (aka firing operations). This involves setting a controlled fire around the wildfire. The backfire consumes the available flammable material and creates a fire belt that the wildfire has difficulty crossing. Firing operations over the weekend on the northwest side of the fire along Road 84 were successful. Today crews will continue to monitor and secure this section of the fire perimeter. Fire resources will also continue with firing operations on the eastern side of the fire in the vicinity of Forest Service Rd 9732 connecting to Forest Service Rd 9745, west of the Lacey Ranch area. Firing operations will produce additional smoke which will be at the heaviest and most visible levels in the afternoon. Coordination on fire tactics continues between the Forest Service, adjacent landowners, and the state.

Firefighting Resources: 1 Engine, 1 Type-2 Crew, 1 Type-1 Crew, 1 Bulldozers, 1 Medic Team, 1 Resource Advisor, plus support personnel.

Smoke: Smoke will be visible from Carrizozo, Capitan, Devil’s Canyon, Highway 380, and Highway 246. It will slowly drift to the northwest. Please visit the NM Department of Health’s smoke page at https://nmtracking.org/fire for information on protecting your health on smoky days.

Weather: Weather is a large contributing factor to wildfire spread. Temperatures today will be in the low 80s with a 10% chance of rain. Humidity levels will be approximately 30% with winds of 5-10 mph.

More Info: Fire updates will occur every other day until no longer needed. More information can be found at the Dark Canyon Inciweb Page at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6937/

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

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