Baton Rouge Complex Fire

Friday, August 12, 2011
Summary: The Baton Rouge Complex is comprised of two fires, the Flying H and the Baton Rouge. The Flying H is 90 percent contained and crews that have been released from this fire are being staged at the Sierra Fire Station, in Rowell, NM. These firefighters will be utilized as initial attack resources, and reassigned to local incidents, as needed. A demobilization plan is in place that will schedule the release of firefighting resources.

The Flying H Fire is in monitor/patrol status.  Containment lines on the Baton Rouge Fire are holding and the northern perimeter is being patrolled. Yesterday’s burnout operations were successful, which helped reinforce containment lines along the fire’s edge. Firefighters are directing suppression efforts to the southern portion, where the fire remains active. Fire activity in this area is limited to unburned pockets of fuel that lie well within the interior, where low to moderate fire behavior has been exhibited.

The Incident Command Post (ICP) is set up in Roswell at the Sierra Volunteer Fire Dept., and it has become a hub of activity in support of the NM Type II Incident Management Team and firefighting resources that are assigned to the Baton Rouge Complex. As the suppression goals are met, the support will scale down until all resources are released or reassigned. This will likely occur within the next two days, unless conditions change.

Firefighter and public safety is the most important incident objective and all personnel assigned to this incident have contributed to a safe assignment with NO injuries to date. A concern from local ranchers has also surfaced and the NM Incident Management Team is working closely with private landowners to ensure that firefighting tactics remain focused on conserving as much of the forage as possible for livestock. A rehabilitation plan is being implemented to treat or repair structures and/or areas that were damaged during fireline construction and suppression activities.

Detected:  August 8, 2011                                                          Cause:  Lightning
Total Acres: 28,165                                                                     Start Location: 21 miles NE of Mayhill
Area Vegetation: Grass, Pinon Juniper, Brush              Ownership(s):  BLM, State and private
Containment: Baton Rouge-80%, Flying H-90%          Firefighting personnel: 564
Structures Threatened: 13 (includes outbuildings)

For further information on the Baton Rouge Complex please visit www.nmfireinfo.com or www.inciweb.org or call (575) 749-3278.


Thursday, August 11, 2011
Summary: The New Mexico Type II Incident Management Team is now managing the Baton Rouge Complex, which is comprised of the Flying H and the Baton Rouge Fires. The Flying H is 80 percent contained. Crews released from the Flying H Fire will be staged at the Sierra Fire Station as initial attack resources.

The Baton Rouge portion of the complex is 55 percent contained. The fire continues to burn through grass, yucca and brush. The terrain is very rugged and inaccessible. The north side of the Baton Rouge Fire (Division A) is cold with no smokes and is now unstaffed. Firefighters will conduct burnout operations on the southeast (Division B) perimeter. The south and west sides (Divisions C and Z) are exhibiting moderate fire behavior.

Firefighting resources including engines, hand crews and aircraft are currently working to suppress the Baton Rouge Complex.  Aerial delivery of retardant is aiding firefighters as they continue with suppression efforts.  Relative humidity is expected to be higher and temperatures are trending into the nineties, however long-term drought conditions are still affecting available fuels. Incoming thunderstorms will be a concern with lightning and outflow winds that can cause erratic fire behavior. There is a chance of precipitation for the area which may benefit fire suppression efforts.

The NM Incident Management Team is striving to address private landowners’ concerns regarding burnout operations that may affect grazing areas. The team is coordinating with landowners and keeping them informed of suppression operations. Firefighting tactics will focus on conserving as much of the forage as possible for livestock.

Detected: August 8, 2011                                                            Cause: Lightning
Total Acres: 21,865                                                                        Start Location: 21 miles NE of Mayhill
Area Vegetation: Grass, P/J & Brush                                      Ownership(s): BLM, State and private
Containment: Baton Rouge-55%/Flying H-80%                Firefighting personnel: 352
Structures Threatened: 13 (includes outbuildings)

For further information on the Baton Rouge Complex please visit www.nmfireinfo.com or www.inciweb.org or call (575) 749-3278.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Summary: The Flying H Fire has been combined with the nearby Baton Rouge Fire, to form the Baton Rouge Complex. Both fires were very active Monday afternoon and evening, making runs and spotting across containment lines in several areas.  As of Tuesday evening, firefighters were successful in holding the Flying H Fire.

The Baton Rouge fire continues to burn through grass and brush, in very rugged, inaccessible terrain. The fire is most active on the south and southwest sides. With exceptional drought conditions and high daytime temperatures of 105-107, firefighters reported seeing erratic fire behavior even into nighttime hours.

Firefighting resources include engines, hand crews and aircraft – all working to suppress the Baton Rouge Fire through implementation of direct and indirect strategies. Firefighters are building line and conducting burnouts, where necessary.

Three structures are threatened on the Baton Rouge Fire and firefighters are working to mitigate the threat. New Mexico State Forestry and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) personnel are coordinating with private landowners who may be affected by the fire.  Power poles damaged on Monday by the Baton Rouge Fire have been repaired and power has been restored.

Scattered strong thunderstorms are forecasted for this afternoon and into tomorrow with the possibility of some precipitation.

The New Mexico Type II Incident Management Team was mobilized to Roswell, NM, to assume management of the Baton Rouge Fire at 6:00 pm today.

Detected:  August 8, 2011                                         Cause:  Lightning
 Acres Burned:  21,865 (total acreage)                      Personnel:  352
(Flying H:  6,511 and Baton Rouge: 15,354)
Start Location: 21 miles NE of Mayhill                    Area Vegetation: Grass & Brush Component
Ownership:  Private, State and BLM                        Structures Threatened:  3
Evacuations: 0                                                           Injuries: 0

For further information on the Baton Rouge Complex please visit www.nmfireinfo.com or www.inciweb.org  or call (575) 749-3278.