Pine Lodge Fire Update June 30, 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 316   Percent Contained: 46%    Acres: 13,433        

Today we take pause and remember the loss of nineteen firefighters on this day, June 30, 2013. We will never forget the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

Pine Lodge Fire transfers command to type 3 incident management team

Fire Activity: The majority of the fire activity was observed in drainages near Copeland Canyon and on Capitan Peak. Fire crews patrolled the edge along Seven Cabins Road and State Highway 246. Containment has increased on the north side of the Capitan Mountains from Forest Service road 5657 to the Seven Cabins Road.

Operations: Suppression repair consisting of chipping woody material, scattering vegetation, fence repair, and seeding is being completed along the containment lines that were constructed during initial response. Firefighters are mitigating the potential of fire movement further to the west of Copeland Canyon by strengthening containment lines. Today, fire behavior near Copeland Canyon and Capitan Peak in the wilderness will be closely monitored for any significant changes.

Summary: Effective at 6 a.m. on Monday July 1, command of the Pine Lodge Fire will be transferred from the Southwest Area Type 2 Incident Management Team to the Pecos Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team. The Pecos team will continue to reach the objectives set forth by the Lincoln National Forest and New Mexico State Forestry. Fire managers from the Pecos Type 3 team will be on the fire line gathering intelligence in preparation for assuming command.

“Our priority from the first day has been to keep firefighters safe, while protecting values at risk,” said Mark Bernal, Deputy Incident Commander. “We realize that a wildfire has a huge impact on a community. We thank you for your support.”

Smoke and Weather: A high pressure system has settled into the area. Yesterday, humidity was recorded at thirteen percent with a high temperature near ninety degrees. These are conditions similar to last week when the fire was more active. Expect to see more smoke and activity from fire in the rugged wilderness area.

Road Closures: Road closures on NM State Road 246 from Capitan to Roswell was lifted last night at 6 p.m. For status on road closures, citizens are encouraged to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department at (575)648-2341.

Lincoln National Forest Closure:  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/