Pine Lodge Fire Update June 27, 2019

Location: 5 miles NW of Arabela, NM     Cause: Unknown Under Investigation  Start date: Thursday, June 19, 2019    Vegetation: Timber (grass and understory), brush   Resources: Approximately 566     Percent Contained: 11%     Acres: 12,484         

A community meeting will be held tonight, at the Arabela Fire Station at 6:30 P.M. to provide an update on the Pine Lodge fire for residents from that area.

Fire Activity and Weather: Yesterday, fire behavior became more active on the north and southeast side of the Pine Lodge fire area as temperatures increased.  During afternoon hours, cloud build-up brought light precipitation on portions of the south end of the fire area.  This helped moderate fire behavior towards the end of the day.  Today’s weather will be a repeat of yesterdays, except with the possibility of an increase in moisture in the afternoon hours.  Fire behavior is still expected to be active during warm morning temperatures and will moderate in the afternoon as clouds build and temperatures become lower.

Operations: Both day and night shifts will be staffed so firefighters can continue to protect identified values.  Structure assessments are continuing around the Arabela community.  Risk assessments are also being conducted in the south end of fire area. Firefighters will continue to closely monitor the northeast point of the fire extinguishing hotspots as well as working to secure the area east of Seven Cabins Road.

Initial attack firefighters are available and ready if new fires start due to lightning as monsoonal storms move in.

Firefighters may conduct burn out operations as needed, improving control lines, and continuing protection of identified values.  Many of the crews are being “spiked” (camped) out closer to the fire area.  Citizens should expect increased fire traffic in the Arabela area as a new camp is being established.

Smoke: Expect some smoke to settle in the lower areas at night and in the early morning due to an occurrence known as a temperature inversion.  Trapped smoke generally lifts after the sun rises and temperatures rise  For additional information go to NM Fire Information https://nmfireinfo.com/smokemanagement/.

Road Closures: NM State Road 246 from Capitan to Roswell continues to be closed (local access only).  For status on road closures, citizens are encouraged to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department at 575-648-2341.

Lincoln National Forest Closure:  Highway 246 is closed from Capitan to Roswell.  Local residents will be allowed to access their home or property.  An area closure is in place for Capitan Mountains east of Capitan Gap Road until further notice.  All trail systems and Forest Service roads within the closure area are closed to public use.  West Mountain is open for recreation.  The official closure information and map is posted on the Pine Lodge Fire InciWeb page.

For additional information visit the websites below:

Inciweb                https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6397-PineLodgeFire

Facebook             https://www.facebook.com/LincolnNF/

NM Fire Info        https://nmfireinfo.com