Three Rivers Fire Update – May 11, 2021

Updates will now be released every other day unless there is a significant change. 

Acres: 7,040 acres 

Containment: 50% 

Vegetation: Grass, dead/down timber, and mixed conifer. 

Start Date: April 26, 2021 

Cause: Unknown, Under Investigation 

Origin Location: ½ mile north of Three Rivers Campground; fire spread towards Ski Apache and the South Fork/Bonito area. 

Ruidoso, New Mexico, May 11, 2021  – On Sunday, May 9th, the Three Rivers Fire transferred to a Type-4 interagency organization due to continued fire suppression success, which has resulted in limited fire activity. The remaining Three Rivers firefighting crews continue to work on extinguishing any hotspots they discover and monitoring the fire area in case the fire does try to progress. The fire perimeter changed slightly due to a small spot fire that had been burning and smoldering for days and eventually burned together with the main fire. This resulted in a slight increase in the overall acreage burned.  

Firefighters continue their efforts to extend control lines south in an area of particularly steep terrain and securing the small portion of the fire that had crossed onto Mescalero Apache tribal lands near Indian Creek.  

In the weeks and months following a fire, it is common for small pockets of unburned or partially burned vegetation within the fire perimeter to continue to smolder and produce smoke. Smoke may be visible during the afternoon and into early evening. Smoke will concentrate at lower elevations during the night and generally lift by mid-morning. Slight winds can be helpful with smoke dispersion. 

Closures and Fire Restrictions 

The Lincoln National Forest and Mescalero Apache Tribal lands are currently under Fire Restrictions. There are no campfires allowed outside of developed campgrounds and no smoking outdoors in the forest.  

All previous road closures have been lifted. Three Rivers Campground remains closed. We recommend finding another place to camp and hike outside of the Bonito Corridor.  

The Capitan Mountains Wilderness remains open, however there is a closure order in effect for the White Mountains Wilderness; this includes all trails within the wilderness area. 

  • T12 Telephone Canyon Trail 
  • T16 Miners Road Trail 
  • T18 Peacock Trail 
  • T19 Southfork Trail 
  • T20 Rodamaker Trail 
  • T22 Mills Canyon Trail 
  • T23 Sanders Ridge Trail 
  • T24 Dry Mills Trail 
  • T25 Crest Trail 
  • T26 Nogal Peak Trail 
  • T27 Spring Canyon Trail 
  • T29 Phantom Trail 
  • T31 Maverick Trail 
  • T33 Bluefront Trail 
  • T34 Norman Canyon Trail 
  • T35 Aspen Trail 
  • T36 Big Bonito Trail 
  • T37 Little Bonito Trail 
  • T38 Cut Across Trail 
  • T39 Argentina Canyon Trail 
  • T40 Turkey Canyon Trail 
  • T41 Skull Springs Trail 
  • T42 Clear Water Trail 
  • T43 Oak Ridge Trail 
  • T44 Three Rivers Trail 
  • T46 Dry Canyon Trail 
  • T47 Goat Canyon Trail 
  • T48 Nogal Canyon Trail 
  • T49 Barber Ridge Trail 
  • T50 Doherty Ridge Trail 
  • T51 Pennsylvania Canyon Trail 
  • T52 Gaylord Trail 
  • T53 Water Canyon Trail 
  • T54 Tortolita Canyon Trail 
  • T55 Church Mountain Trail 
  • T77 North Eagle Creek Trail 

More Information: 

It is important to recognize that longer, more extreme fire seasons will continue. Southern New Mexico is predicted to have an above normal fire season in 2021. Most of New Mexico is in extreme drought. Everyone in New Mexico should be prepared for an active fire season, learn more about living with wildfire and the “Ready, Set, Go!” principles that will help you take steps to protect your home and your family. 

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