Big Tank – San Miguel County – Update #2 

Update 10 a.m. 5/5/23: The Big Tank fire’s containment lines held through the night, with patrols monitoring. This morning, the fire is at 40% containment and 1181 acres burned. State, tribal and local resources will continue to secure lines and mop-up along the graded line perimeter.  

Yesterday’s activity saw the fire creeping, running and torching interior junipers. The fire slopped over the line at two points, but a grader was able to expand line along the north, east and south flanks of the fire and tie them into cold black.  

Red Flag Warnings are in place for the fire area until 8 p.m. this evening. A Fire Weather Watch is in place for the area through Sunday due to daily rounds of strong southwest winds, low humidity, warm temperatures, and an unstable airmass. 

Red Flag Warning area for New Mexico

First 12 p.m. 5/4/23: The Big Tank fire is burning east of Las Vegas south of Highway 104, in San Miguel County. The fire is at 30% containment and has burned through 859 acres, fueled by grass and pinyon/juniper. No structures have been lost and none are currently threatened.   

The fire was caused by lightning and discovered at 12:30 a.m. this morning. Multiple San Miguel County volunteer fire departments responded and proceeded work on containment.  

This morning, Forestry Division came online to assist with response. Currently, all resources are working to secure the perimeter, which includes active flame on the northeast flank moving south. A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the area, and winds are expected to increase from their current speeds of 15 mph from the southwest.  

Start Date & Time: 5/4/23 @ 0030 

 Start Location: 15 miles east of Las Vegas NM, near Highway 104 mile marker 15  

 Latitude: N 35.47764 

 Longitude: W -104.90214 

Cause of Fire:  Lightning  

 Area Vegetation: Grass, Pinyon/ Juniper  

 Estimated Acres Burned:  1181  

 Ownership(s): Private 

 Structures Threatened: None 

 Structures Burned: None 

 Evacuations (Y or N & #): None 


George Ducker 

Communications Coordinator 

New Mexico State Forestry Division – EMNRD 

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