Donaldson Fire – South of Hondo, NM

Fire Update – Friday, July 8, 2011 PM.
Detected: June 28th 2011                                                                    Cause: Lightning
Containment: 95 percent                                                                      Location: 6 miles south of Hondo, NM
Fuel Type: Pinion juniper, brush and grass                                  Terrain: Steep and Rugged
Personnel: 216

Rehabilitation Efforts Continue on the Donaldson Fire

For the past two days, both crews and machines (dozers and excavators) have made exemplary progress on all facets of the rehab efforts. There were some isolated torching observed at various locations on the NW area of the fire but crews hiked in and extinguished the flames.

Tomorrow: The rehab work throughout the Donaldson Fire should be near completion by tomorrow evening.  The public may see smokes within the fire perimeter due to the large unburned islands.  Once ample moisture returns to the area these smokes should lessen.  The Donaldson Fire will be monitored by ground resources.

A large majority of the resources on the fire will be demobilized starting tomorrow afternoon with the completion of the resources being released sometime on Sunday afternoon. There will be a handful of engines kept to monitor and patrol the fire until wetting rain arrives.

A moistening trend is predicted to move into the SW region by the end of the weekend.


Fire Update – July 8, 2011 Noon
Crews continue to make excellent progress this morning with rehabilitation efforts; completion of dozer line is near a end on a majority of the fire. To receive a much better percentage of germination the handseeders are seeding in front of dozers and allow to turn up the dirt with the seed.

There were random smokes observed on the fire today and all were well within the perimeter. Crews scouted out the smokes and exstinguished them on the spot!

Tomorrow afternoon the spike camp will be broken down, and overhead, crews and facilities will be brought back to ICP.

Also, the demob process will start tomorrow afternoon.


Fire Update -Thursday, July 7, 2011 PM
Detected: June 28th 2011                                                                    Cause: Lightning
Containment: 95 percent                                                                      Location: 6 miles south of Hondo, NM
Fuel Type: Pinion juniper, brush and grass                                         Terrain: Steep and Rugged
Personnel: 240

Excellent progress was made by the crews today throughout the entire fire perimeter.  There were some visible smokes on the NE portion of the fire but they were well within the interior of the fire.  The fire crews in the area were able to extinguish the smokes.

Crews worked on rehabilitation of fire lines and other damages that occurred during the suppression of the Donaldson Fire.  Some of the rehabilitation work that was done included hand seeding, creation of water bars, and spreading some of the brush to help in stabilizing the soil from erosion. Also, repairing of fence line and H-braces that were damaged by fire suppression actions are being accomplished.

Tomorrow: Fire Crews will continue to work on rehab efforts throughout the day.  The Donaldson Fire will be monitored by air and ground.

The weather will continue to be hot and dry throughout tomorrow.  A monsoonal pattern is predicted to arrive in the SW region starting Sunday.


Donaldson Fire Update – July 7, 2011 Noon
Crews continue to make excellent progress with rehabilitation efforts on the fire today. Both ATV and hand seeders are being utilized on dozer line and safety zones. Fenceline damaged by suppression efforts are currently being repaired.

Alamo Canyon is continued to be patrolled and monitored by ground resources, and they have not observed any visible smokes. There were approximately 5-6 smokes visible on the NW section of the fire, but are well within the fire perimeter.

Air attack was ordered this afternoon to take a look at the smokes and patrol the entire fire perimeter.


Donaldson Fire Update – Wednesday, July 6, 2011, P.M.
Fire crews had a successful day working on rehabilitating containment lines throughout the Donaldson Fire perimeter. Firefighters worked seeking out heat around the fire edges to monitor, patrol, and protect structures and values at risk. Containment lines held well today.

There still is a potential for single tree torching within the interior and natural burning of some larger unburned islands in the late afternoon as temperatures increase.  Spotting could be a concern for fire personnel.

Tomorrow: Crews will continue rehabilitation activities to prevent erosion and improve any damage from fire and suppression operations.  Some of the rehab efforts include seeding, creating water bars and scattering brush to help stabilize the containment lines.  The Donaldson Fire will be monitored by air and ground.

The New Mexico Type 2 Team (Pierson) transitioned to the Pecos Zone Type 3 Team (Tudor) at 10:00 PM on July 6, 2011.

The Type 2 Team would like to extend sincere appreciation to the surrounding communities for all of their support throughout the incident.  The Type 3 Team will continue to send out updates and provide information via www.iniweb.org and www.nmfireinfo.com.


Donaldson Fire Update – Wednesday, July 6, 2011, A.M
Detected: June 28, 2011                                                  Location: South of US Hwy 70 in Hondo, NM
Acres: 100, 563                                                                 Cause: Lightning
Containment: 90%                                                           Terrain: Rugged/Inaccessible
Fuel Type: Piñon/Juniper, brush and grass                 Injuries: 4 (minor)
Total personnel: 597
Available air support: 3 Helicopters, 2 SEATS, 3 Air Tankers
Resources: 13 Crews, 32 Engines, 8 Dozers,  10 Water Tenders

The New Mexico Type 2 Team will transition back to the Pecos Zone Type 3 Team tonight at 10:00 PM. Updates and information on the Donaldson Fire will continue through the Pecos Zone Type 3 Team beginning Thursday, July 7.

Yesterday, fire crews continued securing containment lines in the northwest part of the Donaldson Fire and a mile east of FR 443 (Hale Lake RD). Although the fire is 90 percent contained, the interior of the fire still holds heat particularly in drainages. Single tree torching in this area along with natural burning of some larger unburned islands was visible by fire crews late afternoon as temperatures became warmer.  Temperatures will continue to trend warmer and drier through the weekend.

Firefighters will continue working throughout the perimeter patrolling, seeking out heat around fire edges, where accessible, and where flames are active to suppress, protecting structures and values at risk.

An infrared flight of the Donaldson Fire last night showed a very slight increase in acreage of 32 acres.

Rehab work will be ongoing to prevent erosion and improve any damage from fire and suppression operations. Firefighters are coordinating with landowners to complete rehab on dozer lines or areas affected by fire suppression.

Emphasis today will be on scouting out along fire edges for hot spots. The Donaldson Fire will continue to be monitored closely by air and ground.

Please use caution if driving along US Highway 70 due to an increase in fire traffic with demobilization of fire personnel.  Note: Many places are either in fire restrictions or closures throughout the area so please, “Know Before You Go!” Visit www.publiclands.org for complete information on what is open and closed.

EXTREME Fire Danger exists on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation. A Reservation Closure along with restrictions is in effect. For more information please go to http://www.publiclands.org/firenews/NM.php


Donaldson Fire Update – Tuesday, July 5, 2011, P.M.
Fire crews continued to work on containment lines in the northwest part of the Donaldson Fire and a mile east of FR 443 (Hale Lake RD). Heat still exists in some drainages. Single tree torching within the interior and natural burning of some larger unburned islands was visible by fire crews in the late afternoon as temperatures increased. Spotting is a still a concern for fire personnel.

Lines held well and acreage remained the same today with no further growth around the perimeter.

Firefighters are working throughout the perimeter seeking out heat around fire edges where accessible and where flames are active to suppress, monitor, patrol, and protect structures and values at risk.

Rehab is also ongoing to prevent erosion and improve any damage from fire and suppression operations.

Emphasis will be on scouting out along fire edges for hot spots. The Donaldson Fire is being monitored by air and ground.

The New Mexico Type 2 Team will transition to a Type 3 organization tomorrow at 10:00 PM.


Donaldson Fire Update – Tuesday, July 5, 2011, A.M
Detected: June 28, 2011                                             Structures Threatened: Approximately 80
Acres: 101,513                                                             Location: South of US Hwy 70 in Hondo, NM
Containment: 75%                                                       Terrain: Rugged/Inaccessible
Cause: Lightning                                                          Fuel Type: Piñon/Juniper, brush and grass
Total personnel: 701
Available air support: 6 Helicopters, 2 SEATS, 3 Air Tankers
Resources: 15 Crews, 41 Engines, 8 Dozers, 14 Water Tenders

Summary: Fire crews improved containment lines significantly constructing a ½ mile wide containment line to prevent further spread resulting in 75 percent containment. Smoke has decreased and will continue to decrease as containment rises. Increase in acreage is due to interior burning and yesterday’s burnout operations. The Donaldson Fire is located primarily on private property and also on Mescalero-Apache Tribal lands, State Forestry, and Forest Service lands.

NOTE: Public Meetings for the Donaldson Fire will no longer be held unless a significant need arises.
16 people attended the public meeting held yesterday.

The voluntary evacuation for the Alamo Canyon area was lifted as of July 4 at 6 PM.

Yesterday: Burnout operations have been completed successfully which also helped slow fire spread for the protection of structures and other values at risk. No other plans for burnout operations are expected.

Today: Rehab begins today with firefighters removing downed timber and rocks etc. from roads, installing waterbars on handlines  and dozer lines to prevent erosion, removing slash,  cleaning up debris and making improvements to any damaged caused by suppression efforts.

Crews will continue the mop-up of hot spots (searching for and extinguishing smoldering areas) within the interior of the fire area along the perimeter.

Firefighters will closely monitor and patrol the Donaldson Fire by air and ground.

Plans to transition from the New Mexico Type II team to a smaller Type III organization have begun.

Demobilization of some crews and other non-essential resources will begin today.

Advisory: Traffic from fire personnel will continue along US Hwy 70. Please drive safely.


Donaldson Fire Update – Monday, July 4, 2011, 10:00 P.M.
Firefighters made exceptional progress on containing and securing the perimeter of the Donaldson Fire today. Burnout operations continued south of US Hwy 70 and east of Forest Road 443 (Hale Lake), significantly improving ½ mile wide containment lines.

Most of the smoke visible was coming from pockets of islands of vegetation burning within the interior of the perimeter and from burn out operations conducted today.

Burnout operations were completed today. No other plans for burnout operations are expected.  Crews will also monitor and mop-up hot spots within the interior of the fire area.

Tomorrow rehab will begin on dozer lines and other disturbances due to suppression activities throughout the perimeter.

Plans to transition from the New Mexico Type II team to a smaller Type III organization are beginning.

16 people attended today’s public meeting on the Donaldson Fire.

NOTE: Public Meetings for the Donaldson Fire will no longer be held unless a significant need arises.


NOTE: Public Meetings for the Donaldson Fire will no longer be held unless a significant need arises.

Donaldson Fire Update – Monday, July 4, 2011, 1:00 P.M.
The burnout operation has begun this afternoon in Division S (see map below for references) northwest of Alamo Canyon RD. (Division S) and along Forest Road (FR) 443 also known as Hale Lake RD.  Air support will be available to assist as needed.

Smoke is and will be visible throughout the day as firefighters work to protect residences and land from the Donaldson Fire.

Firefighters are stationed throughout the perimeter where accessible and where flames are active to monitor, patrol, and protect structures and values at risk.

The burnout operations are used to create a buffer between firefighters, structures, and the fire edge. Mop-up near El Valle Loop and south of San Patricio will continue.

Smoke may drift into Ruidoso Downs and Ruidoso as well as Hondo and surrounding communities.

Note: A public meeting to provide up to date information about the Donaldson Fire will be held in San Patricio at the Community Center at 4 pm on Monday, July 4.


Donaldson FIre Update – Monday, July 4, 2011, A.M
Detected: June 28, 2011                                             Start date: June 28, 2011
Acres: 100,831                                                            Structures Threatened: Approximately 80
Containment: 60%                                                       Location: South of US Hwy 70 in Hondo, NM
Fuel Type: Piñon/Juniper, brush and grass                 Cause: Lightning
Total personnel: 704                                                    Terrain: Rugged/Inaccessible
Resources: 16 Crews, 41 Engines, 13 Dozers, 14 Water Tenders
Available air support: 5 Helicopters, 2 SEATS, 3 Air Tankers

Summary: Good progress continues as firefighters work to complete containment lines around the perimeter of the Donaldson Fire. While parts of the fire are into patrol and mop-up, other parts of the interior (islands of vegetation) still have active flame. Fire personnel are working to contain the outside edges of the fire to prevent further movement. Additional acreage is due to fire growth on the west flank in addition to burnout operations along FR 443 (Hale Lake Rd.). The east and southeast sides of the fire perimeter have cooled and are showing minimal fire activity. The Donaldson Fire is burning primarily on private property and also on Mescalero-Apache Tribal lands, State Forestry, and Forest Service lands.

Fire personnel are closely monitoring and patrolling the fire by air and ground.

A public meeting was held yesterday at 4 PM in San Patricio to provide an update on the Donaldson Fire.

About 42 people were in attendance. Another meeting will be held today at 4 PM at the San Patricio (St. Jude’s) Community Center Hall.

Yesterday: Firefighters concentrated on Alamo Canyon, Pajarito Flats and Forest Road 443 (Hale Lake Rd.) securing and holding containment lines. Burnouts were conducted successfully near El Valle loop and south of San Patricio. The burnout operations are being conducted to create a buffer between firefighters and the fire edge. Crews are also mopping up near El Valle loop and south of San Patricio. Firefighters also completed blacklining (containment line) along FR 443 (Hake Lake Rd).

Most of the smoke that was visible was from pockets of islands of vegetation burning within the interior of the perimeter. Some smoke was drifting into Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs.

Today: Crews will continue working in the Alamo Canyon area building line and utilizing engines and crews to mop-up where necessary. Firefighters will closely monitor and stop fire spread where fire is active around structures and other values that could be at risk. Smoke and isolated torching (flames) will still be visible from U.S. Hwy 70. Air support (air tankers and helicopters) will be available and used for retardant and water drops as needed. The structure protection group will continue assessing private property to ensure public safety. Rehabilitation of dozer lines is in the planning stages.

Advisory: Burnout operations will resume in the Pajarito Flats area on the west perimeter. Smoke from the Donaldson Fire may drift into communities of Hondo, Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Capitan, Lincoln, Fort Stanton, Picacho, Tinnie, San Patricio, Glencoe, and other surrounding areas. For information about air quality and health effects related to smoke from wildfires, go to http://nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/ or call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552.

A voluntary evacuation and is still in place for residents within Alamo Canyon Road area. As the fire containment progresses, the risk of spotting and spreading will diminish.

Please use caution if driving along US Highway 70 due to an increase in fire traffic as well as public travel during Fourth of July. Many places are either in fire restrictions or closures throughout the area so please, “Know Before You Go!” Visit www.publiclands.org for complete information on what is open and closed.

EXTREME Fire Danger exists on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation. A Reservation Closure along with restrictions is in effect. For more information please go to http://www.publiclands.org/firenews/NM.php


Donaldson Fire Update – Sunday, July 3, 2011, 10:00 P.M.
Today firefighters concentrated on Alamo Canyon, Pajarito Flats and Forest Road 443 (Hake Lake) area securing and holding containment lines. Burnouts were conducted successfully near El Valle loop and south of San Patricio. The burnout operations are used to create a buffer between firefighters and the fire edge. Crews are also mopping up in near El Valle loop and south of San Patricio.

Most of the smoke that was visible was coming from pockets of islands of vegetation burning within the interior of the perimeter. Some smoke was drifting into Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs.

Firefighters are holding the fireline well around the perimeter of the Donaldson Fire. Other crews will continue to monitor and patrol it closely. Firefighters were able to go direct on the fire edge by building fireline in the south of US Hwy 70 in Alamo Canyon.

Burnout operations will continue tomorrow in the same areas as mentioned above as weather conditions permit. Air support will be available to assist.

Note: A public meeting to provide up to date information about the Donaldson Fire will be held in San Patricio at the Community Center at 4 pm on Monday, July 4.


Donaldson Fire Update – Sunday, July 3, 2011, A.M
Detected: June 28, 2011                                                Start date: June 28, 2011
Acres: 96,745                                                                Structures Threatened: Approximately 80
Containment: 50%                                                       Location: South of US Hwy 70 in Hondo, NM
Fuel Type: Piñon/Juniper, brush and grass            Cause: Lightning
Total personnel: 594                                                    Terrain: Rugged/Inaccessible
Resources: 13 Crews, 38 Engines, 12 Dozers,
Available air support: 5 Helicopters, 2 SEATS, 11 Water Tenders, 3 Air Tankers

Summary: Containment of the Donadson Fire has reached 50 percent. Burnout operations south of Alamo Canyon Road and on the west side in Pajarito Flats were successful yesterday on the Donaldson Fire.  Increase in acreage is mostly due to burnout operations and accurate aerial mapping. The east and southeast sides of the fire perimeter have cooled and are showing minimal fire activity.

The Donaldson Fire is burning primarily on private property and also on Mesaclero-Apache Tribal lands, State Forestry, and Forest Service lands.

A public meeting was held yesterday at 4 PM in San Patricio to provide an update on the Donaldson Fire.

About 48 people were in attendance. Another meeting will be held today at 4 PM at the San Patricio Community Center Hall.

Yesterday: Suppression operations went well as firefighters conducted burnout operations with the assistance of air support retardant and water bucket drops. Local residents offered water from their private property to make air support operations possible as the lack of water availability was posing a challenge for firefighters.  Smoke from the burnout was visible from Hondo, San Patricio and Ruidoso.

Today: Crews will focus south of San Patricio working hot spots along the fire perimeter from yesterday’s burnout operations west towards Division Sierra. Burnout operations will continue in the Pajarito Flats area on the west perimeter. Firefighters will closely monitor where fire is active and where structures and other values could be at risk. Smoke and isolated torching (flames) will still be visible from U.S. Hwy 70. Air support (air tankers and helicopters) will be available and used for retardant and water drops as needed. The structure protection group will continue assessing private property to ensure for public safety. Rehabilitation of dozer lines is in the planning stages.

Advisory: Smoke from the Donaldson Fire may impact communities of Hondo, Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Capitan, Lincoln, Fort Stanton, Picacho, Tinnie, San Patricio, Glencoe, and other surrounding areas. For information about air quality and health effects related to smoke from wildfires, go to http://nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/ or call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552.

A voluntary evacuation and is still in effect for residents within Alamo Canyon Road area. As the fire containment progresses, the risk of spotting and spreading will diminish.

Please use caution if driving along US Highway 70 due to an increase in fire traffic as well as public travel during Fourth of July weekend. Many places are either in fire restrictions or closures throughout the area so please, “Know Before You Go!” Visit www.publiclands.org for complete information on what is open and closed. For more information including maps of the Donaldson Fire please visit www.nmfireinfo.com or www.inciweb.org.

For information on creating defensible space around your home and property please visit www.fireswise.org or www.livingwithfire.info.


Donaldson Fire Update – Saturday, July 2, 2011, 10:30 PM
Firefighters made excellent progress today with burn out operations on the western and northern sides of the fire. The objective of the burn out operation was to create a burned area buffer alongside of dozer and handlines to help control the fire. Air resources assisted in the operation with helicopter water bucket drops and retardant. Smoke from the burn out operations was visible from the Hondo and San Patricio communities. Smoke from the Donaldson Fire drifted into Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs. Burnout operations will continue tomorrow along the western flank.

Patrol and mop up operations continued on the east side. Areas within Alamo Canyon continue to burn. Night patrols will occur to ensure public safety. Additional dozer lines will be utilized to secure this area.

Most activity on the fire occurred within the interior of the fire perimeter. Additional fire information will be updated on Sunday morning, July 3.


Donaldson Fire Update – Saturday, July 2, 2011, A.M.
Detected: June 28, 2011                                                        Start date: June 28, 2011
Acres: 90,393                                                                         Structures Threatened: Approximately 80
Containment: 30%                                                                 Location: South of US Hwy 70 in Hondo, NM
Fuel Type: Piñon/Juniper, brush and grass                     Cause: Lightning
Total personnel: 409                                                            Terrain: Rugged/Inaccessible
Resources: 10 Crews, 24 Engines, 5 Dozers,
Available air support: 5 Helicopters, 2 SEATS, 5 Water Tenders, 3 Air Tankers

Summary: Firefighters made excellent progress again today and will begin mopping up and patrolling areas on the eastern perimeter.  The Donaldson Fire is burning primarily on private property and also on Mescalero-Apache Tribal lands, State Forestry, and Forest Service lands.

Increase in acreage is due to more accurate aerial mapping. Also a portion of the fire along the west flank on the Mescalero-Apache Tribal lands grew due to shifting winds which created multiple spot fires in areas of high grass.

The evacuation order for the Alamo Canyon area along Alamo Canyon Road has been changed to a voluntary evacuation and is in effect for residents within this area. As the fire containment progresses, the risk of spotting and spreading will diminish.

A public meeting will be held on Saturday at 4 PM in San Patricio at St. Jude’s Parish Hall to provide an update on the Donaldson Fire.

Yesterday: Firefighter’s were successful in tying in dozer lines with handlines around the eastern perimeter of the fire, resulting in the 30 percent containment.  The fire above Alamo Canyon was hung up in the rock crevices with some isolated torching of trees and was visible from U.S. Hwy. 70.

Due to the extreme steep and rugged terrain in this area direct handline (inserting firefighters on fire edge) is not possible without posing a high risk to firefighters.  Instead, indirect line by dozers was constructed north of Alamo Canyon Road to prevent fire from crossing over to residential areas. An indirect line is used when fire is in sparse fuels (open and scattered trees or brush) with rocky rugged terrain where the fire spread is slow.

Today: Firefighters will concentrate efforts on the northern perimeter along US Hwy 70 possibly conducting a burnout along Forest Road 443 (Hale Lake) in order to keep fire to the east beginning at approximately 10 am if weather conditions permit.  During these operations, smoke and isolated torching (flames) will still be visible from U.S. Hwy 70.

As fire is creeping and moving through sparse vegetation within the fire area in Alamo Canyon, firefighters are continuing to patrol this area and construct dozer lines while protecting structures and values at risk.  Dozer lines will be rehabilitated once the fire has been contained.

The structure protection group will continue assessing private property to ensure for public safety.  Air support (air tankers and helicopters) will be available and used for retardant and water drops as needed.

NOTE: Islands of unburned fuel within the fire perimeter may produce smoke and flames that can be visible from U.S. Hwy 70 and surrounding communities.  As these islands burn out and winds increase falling ash may be seen throughout the area as far away as Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs.

Advisory: Smoke from the Donaldson Fire is impacting communities of Hondo, Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Capitan, Lincoln, Fort Stanton, Picacho, Tinnie, San Patricio, Glencoe, and other surrounding areas. For information about air quality and health effects related to smoke from wildfires, go to http://nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/ or call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552.

Please use caution if driving along US Highway 70 due to an increase in fire traffic as well as public travel during Fourth of July weekend. Many places are either in fire restrictions or closures throughout the area so please, “Know Before You Go!” Visit www.publiclands.org for complete information on what is open and closed.

For more information including maps of the Donaldson Fire please visit www.nmfireinfo.com or www.inciweb.org.


Donaldson Fire Update – Friday, July 1, 2011, 10:00 P.M.
Detected: June 28, 2011                                           Start date: June 28, 2011
Acres: 90,329                                                              Structures Threatened: Approximately 80
Containment: 30%                                                       Location: South of US Hwy 70 in Hondo, NM
Fuel Type: Piñon/Juniper, brush and grass                   Cause: Lightning
Total personnel: 409                                                    Terrain: Rugged/Inaccessible
Resources: 10 Crews, 19 Engines, 5 Dozers,
Available air support: 3 Helicopters, 2 SEATS, 4 Water Tenders, 3 Air Tankers

Summary: Firefighters made excellent progress again today and will begin mopping up and patrolling areas on the east perimeter as the Donaldson Fire is burning primarily on private property and also in Mesaclero-Apache Tribal lands, State Forestry and Forest Service.

The evacuation order for the Alamo Canyon area along Alamo Canyon Road has been changed to a voluntary evacuation and is in effect for residents within this area. A public meeting will be held on Saturday at 4 PM in San Patricio at St. Jude’s Parish Hall to provide an update on the Donaldson Fire.

Today: Firefighter’s were successful in tying in dozer lines with handlines around the eastern perimeter of the fire, resulting in the 30 percent containment. Although smoke was visible along US Hwy 70 throughout the day, fire was hung up in the rock crevices, creeping with some isolated torching of trees.

Due to the extreme steep and rugged terrain in this area direct handline is not possible without posing a high risk to firefighters. Indirect line by dozers is being constructed north of Alamo Canyon Road to prevent fire from crossing over to residential areas. An indirect line is used when fire is in sparse fuels (open and scattered trees or brush) with rocky rugged terrain where the fire spread is slow. A portion of the fire along the west flank grew due to shifting winds, which created multiple spot fires in areas of high grass.

Tomorrow: Firefighters will concentrate efforts on the northern perimeter along US Hwy 70 possibly conducting a burnout along Forest Road 443 (Coe Canyon) in order to keep fire to the east beginning at approximately 10 am if weather conditions permit.

The structure protection group will continue assessing private property to ensure for public safety.  Air support (air tankers and helicopters) will be available and used for retardant and water drops as needed.   Islands of unburned fuel within the fire perimeter may produce smoke and flames that can be visible from U.S. Hwy 70 and surrounding communities.  Increased winds may produce falling ash throughout the area as far away as Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs.

Advisory: Smoke from the Donaldson Fire is impacting communities of Hondo, Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Capitan, Lincoln, Fort Stanton, Picacho, Tinnie, San Patricio, Glencoe, and other surrounding areas. For information about air quality and health effects related to smoke from wildfires, go to http://nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb or call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552.

Please use caution if driving along US Highway 70 due to an increase in fire traffic as well as public travel during Fourth of July weekend. Many places are either in fire restrictions or closures throughout the area so please, “Know Before You Go!” Visit www.publiclands.org for complete information on what is open and closed. For more information including maps of the Donaldson Fire please visit www.nmfireinfo.com or www.inciweb.org.

Fire Update – Friday, July 1, 2011, 11:00 A.M.
Detected: June 28, 2011                                            Start date: June 28, 2011
Acres: 75,603                                                                Structures Threatened: Approximately 80
Containment: 10%                                                       Location: South of US Hwy 70 in Hondo, NM
Fuel Type: Piñon/Juniper, brush and grass                 Cause: Lightning
Total personnel: 347                                                  Terrain: Rugged/Inaccessible
Resources: 10 Crews, 19 Engines, 5 Dozers,
Available air support: 3 Helicopters, 2 SEATS, 4 Water Tenders, 3 Air Tankers

Transition to the New Mexico Type 2 Incident Management Team (IMT) took place today at 6:00 a.m.

Summary: The Donaldson Fire is burning primarily on private property and also in Mesaclero-Apache Tribal lands and Forest Service. Major progress was made yesterday as firefighters conducted a burnout operation successfully holding the Donaldson Fire west of Picacho Road.

Evacuation remains in effect for residents within the Alamo Canyon area along Alamo Canyon Road due to fire activity in that area.

A public meeting will be held in San Patricio at St. Jude’s Parish Hall today at 4 pm to provide more information on the Donaldson Fire.

Higher humidity early this morning is offering an advantage today for suppression activities as firefighters continue to work keeping fire east of FR 443, west of Picacho, south of US Highway 70, and north of Pine Tree Canyon. Spotting will be a concern as temperatures become warmer and gusty winds from the southeast increase this afternoon.

The structure protection group will continue assessing needs to protect multiple structures that are threatened by the fire along US Highway 70. Air support (air tankers and helicopters) will be utilized for retardant and water drops throughout the day as long as wind conditions allow.

Advisory: Smoke from the Donaldson Fire is impacting communities of Hondo, Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Capitan, Lincoln, Fort Stanton, Picacho, Tinnie, San Patricio, Glencoe, and other surrounding areas. For information about air quality and health effects related to smoke from wildfires, go to http://nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb or call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552.

Please use caution if driving along US Highway 70 due to an increase in fire traffic as well as public travel during Fourth of July weekend.

For more information including maps of the Donaldson Fire please visit www.nmfireinfo.com or www.inciweb.org.


Fire Update – Tuesday, June 30, 2011 10:00 p.m.

Detected: June 28th 2011                                                                    Cause:Lightning

Containment: 10 percent                                                                      Location: 6 miles south of Hondo, NM

Fuel Type: Pinion juniper, brush and grass                                         Terrain: Steep and Rugged

Personnel: 326

Smoke from the fire is impacting the communities of Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Capitan, Lincoln, Hondo, Fort Stanton, Picacho, Tinnie, San Patricio, Glencoe and other surrounding areas so please take precautions if you have any health or respiratory issues.

Transition from the Pecos Zone Type 3 Team to John Pierson’s NM Type 2 Incident Management Team will occur tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m.

Once again, fire activity remained to be extreme throughout the day with the fire pushing northwest through grass and pinion juniper. Around 2 pm this afternoon, the winds picked up due to thunderstorm development to the northwest, increasing fire activity in all divisions. Multiple aerial resources assisted ground resources in holding the fire and keeping it south of HWY 70, east of the Forest Service boundary or FS Road 443, west of the Pichaco Road and north of Pine Tree Canyon.

A public meeting was held this afternoon at the San Patricio St. Jude Community Center with approximately 50 residents attending. They were briefed on the current fire situation, 24-hour plan and introduced to the incoming Type 2 Incident Management team.

A structure group has been established to work from Alamo Canyon to Coe Canyon to monitor the fire situation, protect structures in the Hondo, San Patricio and Glencoe area and to keep the residences informed.

Today fire crews used both direct and indirect suppression tactics trying to keep the fire from progressing out of the containment area.

Current Size: 72,650 acres

Summary: The fire is actively burning in steep, rocky, inaccessible terrain in private, Lincoln National Forest and Mescalero-Apache Tribal lands south of Hondo, NM. The fire is approximately 10 miles NW of Ruidoso Downs, NM.

Air Resources: 1 Air Attack, 1 Lead Plane, 4 Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT), 2 heavy Air Tankers and 1Module Aerial Fire Fighting Support (MAFFS) #7 C-130 worked the fire for most of the day with the help from Type 2 and  Type 3 helicopters.

Fire Behavior: Extreme fire behavior (running)

Structures Threatened: 80 structures threatened within the Alamo Canyon and the Hondo Valley; 6 outbuildings destroyed and 1 primary residence.

Fire Update – June 30, 2011 1:30 p.m.

The morning started out quiet but around 1000-1030 the wind started to pick up and the fire activity increased. Crews are conducting burnout operations to hold the Picacho Road and keeping it to the west of the road.

Also, the fire has become very active in the El Valle Canyon and the next two canyons to the west. Smoke columns are very visible from HWY 70 and the communities of San Patricio and Glencoe.

A community meeting is going to be held this afternoon at 4pm at the St. Jude Community Center in San Patricio, NM. Fire officials will provide community members the most current fire situation and answer any questions.

John Pierson’s Type 2 Incident Management Team (IMT) has been ordered and will assume command of the fire tomorrow morning at 0600.

The fire was mapped this morning and we are awaiting confirmation on the total acreage.

Fire Update – June 30, 2011, 8:00 am

Incident Overview

Fire crews did an excellent job last night protecting structures and keeping the fire south of HWY 70 after the fire blew out of Alamo Canyon. With increased winds around 9:30 pm, the fire intensity picked up dramatically and raced south of Hondo on both sides of the Rio Hondo. Crews worked until early this morning to make sure the fire stayed at bay and was very successful.

Objectives this morning for crews will be to assess the fire progression from last night and yesterday… Keep the fire from moving east of Forest Service Road 443 and east of Picacho Road. A structure protection group will be patrolling HWY 70 and prepping the area for any possible burnout operations.

The mapping mission this morning will be conducted in the next couple hours, the helicopter is currently being used for a recon mission on the Mescalero-Apache Reservation portion of the fire.

The Salvation Army is in place at the Hondo Gym providing assistance for any displaced residents.

Today they are providing meals for breakfast, lunch and possibly dinner for up to 50 residents.

Evacuation of Alamo Canyon is still in progress by both Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and fire resources.

Residents are being directed to the Hondo School Gym as a shelter and the roping arena for livestock/animals.

The fire grew rapidly during the day due to extremely dry conditions and gusty winds. Around 2 pm this afternoon, the winds picked up dramatically and pushed the fire towards and over the Alamo Canyon Road. Multiple aerial resources assisted ground resources in holding the fire and keeping it south of HWY 70, east of the Forest Service boundary or FS Road 443, west of the Pichaco Road and north of Pine Tree Canyon. With the setting of the sun, the fire is starting to lie down and become less active.

A structure group has been established to work from Alamo Canyon to Coe Canyon and monitor the fire situation to keep the residences informed.

Today fire crews used both direct and indirect suppression tactics trying to keep the fire from progressing.

Current Size: 43,290 acres

Summary: The fire is actively burning in steep, rocky, inaccessible terrain in private and Mescalero Apache Tribal lands south of Hondo, NM.

1 Air Attack, 1 Lead Plane, 4 Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT), 1 heavy Air Tankers and 1Modular Aerial Fire Fighting Support (MAFFS) #7 C-130 worked the fire for most of the day. A Type 2 and Type 3 helicopter will be assisting the fire resources.

Fire Behavior: Extreme fire behavior (running)

Weather: Thursday- Sunny with Temps: 89-94 degrees, Relative Humidity’s 12% and Winds 13-18 with gust to 25 from the southeast with afternoon thunderstorms.

Resources: Resources from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, New Mexico State Forestry, Lincoln County Emergency Services and area volunteer departments responded. Approximately 284 personnel are assigned to the fire.

Structures Threatened: 50 structures threatened and 5 destroyed.

Smoke from the fire may impact the communities of Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Capitan, Lincoln, Hondo, Fort Stanton, Tinnie, San Patricio and other surrounding areas so please take precautions if you have any health or respiratory issues.

Basic Information

Incident Type Wildfire

Cause Lightning

Date of Origin Tuesday June 28th, 2011 approx. 09:00 AM

Location 6 miles S. of Hondo, NM

Incident Commander Tudor

Current Situation

Total Personnel 307

Size 43,290 acres

Estimated Containment Date Saturday July 02nd, 2011 approx. 06:00 PM

Fuels Involved Tall Grass (2.5 Feet tall 43,290×3.01=130,303

Fire Behavior Running with short range spotting

Significant Events Major progress was made holding the fire west of Picacho Road. Residents evacuated from Alamo Canyon and Hondo Valley.

Outlook

Planned Actions Keep fire east of FR 443 by providing direct dozer line construction from Hwy 70 to DIVS Z. Hold containment lines in DIVS A and DIVS Z & Y. Provide structure protectionas needed along Hwy 70.

Growth Potential High

Terrain Difficulty Extreme

Current Weather

Wind Conditions 13 mph SE

Temperature 99 degrees

Humidity 1%

Fire Update – June 29, 2011 9:30 p.m.

Detected: June 28th 2011                                                      Cause: Lightning

Containment: 0 percent                                                          Location: 6 miles south of Hondo, NM

Fuel Type: Pinion juniper, brush and grass                    Terrain: Steep and Rugged

Evacuation of Alamo Canyon is still in progress by both Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and fire resources. Residents are being directed to the Hondo School Gym as a shelter and the roping arena for livestock/animals.

The fire grew rapidly during the day due to extremely dry conditions and gusty winds. Around 2 pm this afternoon, the winds picked up dramatically and pushed the fire towards and over the Alamo Canyon Road. Multiple aerial resources assisted ground resources in holding the fire and keeping it south of HWY 70, east of the Forest Service boundary or FS Road 443, west of the Pichaco Road and north of Pine Tree Canyon. With the setting of the sun, the fire is starting to lie down and become less active.

A structure group has been established to work from Alamo Canyon to Coe Canyon and monitor the fire situation to keep the residences informed.

Today fire crews used both direct and indirect suppression tactics trying to keep the fire from progressing.

Current Size: 43,290 acres

Summary: The fire is actively burning in steep, rocky, inaccessible terrain in private and Mescalero Apache Tribal lands south of Hondo, NM.

1 Air Attack, 1 Lead Plane, 4 Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT), 1 heavy Air Tankers and 1Modular Aerial Fire Fighting Support (MAFFS) #7 C-130 worked the fire for most of the day. A Type 2 and Type 3 helicopter will be assisting the fire resources.

Fire Behavior: Extreme fire behavior (running)

Weather: Thursday– Sunny with Temps: 89-94 degrees, Relative Humidity’s 12% and Winds 13-18 with gust to 25 from the southeast with afternoon thunderstorms.

Resources: Resources from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, New Mexico State Forestry, Lincoln County Emergency Services and area volunteer departments responded. Approximately 284 personnel are assigned to the fire.

Structures Threatened: 50 structures threatened and 5 destroyed.

Smoke from the fire may impact the communities of Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Capitan, Lincoln, Hondo, Fort Stanton, Tinnie, San Patricio and other surrounding areas so please take precautions if you have any health or respiratory issues.

Updated 6/28/201 – 8:00 PM

Precautionary evacuations are being conducted for Alamo Canyon by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and Lincoln County Emergency Services.

Pecos Zone Type III Incident Management Team (Tudor IC) took over management of the Donaldson Fire as of 4:00 p.m. on today. Additional resources have been ordered and will be assigned to the fire as they arrive. The Donaldson Incident Command Post (ICP) has been set up at the Hope School on HWY 70.

Current Size: estimated at 15,000 acres – The fire will be mapped tomorrow by GPS and a more accurate estimate of size will be provided in tomorrow’s fact sheet.

Summary: The fire is actively burning in steep, rocky, inaccessible terrain in private lands south of Hondo, NM.

1 Air Attack, 1 Lead Plane, 4 Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) and 1Module Aerial Fire Fighting Support (MAFFS) #7 C-130 worked the fire for most of the day, and a Type 2 helicopter has been ordered for operations tomorrow.

The fire grew rapidly during the day due to extremely dry conditions and gusty winds. Structure protection is being conducted around multiple ranch houses within the fire perimeter.

Fire personnel are using both direct and indirect suppression tactics to contain the fire and keep it from moving further south.

Detected: June 28th 2011

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 0 percent

Location: 6 miles south of Hondo, NM

Fuel Type: Pinion juniper, brush and grass

Terrain: Steep and Rugged

Fire Behavior: Extreme fire behavior (running) is being observed with strong pushes towards Pajarita Mountain and is currently burning within the Mescalero-Apache Reservation.

Weather: Wednesday – Sunny with Temps: 95 degrees, Relative Humidity’s 6 % and Winds 13-18 from the South

Resources: Resources from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Forestry, and area volunteer departments responded. Approximately 128 personnel are assigned to the fire.

Structures Threatened: 5 structures threatened with one of them being a primary residence.

Smoke from the fire may impact the communities of Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Capitan, Lincoln, Hondo, Fort Stanton, Tinnie, San Patricio and other surrounding areas so please take precautions if you have any health or respiratory issues.

6/28/2011 – 10:00 AM

Incident Name: Donaldson

Start Location: South of Hondo and south of highway 70

Situation: There are two fires, both located in the area of the Donaldson and Skeen Ranches. Ground crews and single engine air tankers are currently fighting the fire. The fire is actively burning in rough inaccessible terrain. Two hand crews are on order. Two additional SEATS and heavy air tanker have been ordered. The Pecos Zone Type 3 team has also been ordered.

Cause of Fire: lightning                                      Area Vegetation: grass

Acres Burned: +600                                           Ownership(s): private

Structures Threatened: 0                                 Structures Burned: 0

Evacuations (Y or N & #): 0

% Contained: 0%

Temperature: 73 warming rapidly to the mid 90s

Relative Humidity: 42 %

Wind Speeds: 9

Wind Direction: NE

Condition of Fire: running