ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Dry lightning is being blamed as the cause of a fire reported Friday in the Guadalupe Mountains on the Texas-New Mexico border.
The Horse Canyon Fire was reported at 5 a.m. and was last estimated at 25 acres burning through grass, piñon and juniper.
The fire is on the New Mexico side of the state line about five miles southeast of Queen and a mile from the Carlsbad Caverns National Park boundary.
Initially attacking the fire are 14 firefighters and a helicopter making water drops. Additional ground and air resources are on order.
Updates on other fires in the region:
- Reported Thursday morning southeast of Dulce
- Last estimated at 10 acres of private land burning in mixed conifer, grass, piñon and juniper.
- 28 fire personnel on scene
- As of late Thursday: " Fire is Creeping and spreading with small flame lengths. BIA single engine air tanker (SEAT) was on the fire and made 17 drops. Crews will work to build and strengthen containment lines through the evening."
- 13 miles south of Magdalena and three miles southeast of the Magdalena Ridge Observatory.
- Burning mixed conifer in "extremely steep and rugged terrain."
- 104 acres; 81 percent contained.
- 86 fire and support personnel
- "Minimal fire behavior was observed yesterday. Most of the fire activity continues to be in the interior of the fire. Heavy fuels continue to burn along with some smoldering on the ground."
Little Bear Fire
The forest fire that burned 242 homes, cabins and commercial structures near Ruidoso is 95 percent contained and mapped at 44,339 acres as of Friday.
- Forces on scene stand at 215 firefighters and support personnel, down from a peak of about 1,400.
- Rehabilitation efforts on the fire perimeter were completed today. The remained of the dozer line has been reseeded and brought back to a more natural state.
- Buck Mountain Road continues to be closed due to the removal of hazard trees. Portions of the fire received a small amount of rain in the southern end. Flooding is still a possiblity along areas of Bonito Creek with thunderstorms and showers predicted for the next couple of days. When in the area that has been damaged, especially near drainages, if thunder cells build, rain is falling or imminent please immediately leave the area and seek higher ground for safety.
- Heavy demobilization of resources is occurring in preparation of transition to a local Type 3 Incident Commander.
- All roads accessing private land within the Little Bear Fire area are now open. Some roads accessing the Lincoln National Forest remain closed. These include NM 532 (Ski Run Road) west from the softball complex near NM 48 junction, and Forest Road 107 above Bonito Dam; are open to residents only (a permit from the Forest Service is required to access this area.) These permits will not supersede evacuation orders from the Lincoln County Sheriff or Ruidoso Police Departments when flooding occurs.
Whitewater Baldy Complex Fire
The fire incident management team issued its last daily update on Thursday.
By then the largest wildfire in state history had charred 297,845 acres in the Gila Wilderness and adjacent national forest. Fire lines held 87 percent of its perimeter.
- "The Whitewater-Baldy fire perimeter remains quiet, with isolated areas of smoldering and burning pockets of fuel in the interior," a statement released late Thursday said. "Fire managers expect some interior smoldering and burning to continue until monsoon rains arrive."
- With a high threat for flooding, monitoring equipment is being installed as an early warning system for flash flooding on Whitewater and Mineral creeks and other streams. In addition to stream gauges, rain gauges are being installed at Mogollon Baldy, Bear Wallow Lookout, Sheridan Corral and Hummingbird Saddle.
- Fire personnel are now focused on repair damage done by their suppression efforts and reseeding dozer lines and camp sites.
In southwestern Colorado:
- 3.5 miles west of Durango on state and federal lands
- Lightning-caused, June 27
- 80 acres, 40 percent contained
- 70 personnel on scene
- The fire is burning in the Lightner Creek drainage on the north side of Highway 160. The fire is located approximately 1.5 miles north of the junction of County Roads 207 and 208, and west of County Road 208.
Little Sand Fire
- San Juan National Forest 13 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs.
- Lightning-caused, started May 13
- 23,500 acres; 34 percent contained
- Low to moderate intensity surface fire with occasional group and single tree torching, short range spotting observed.
- The fire is in rugged and inaccessible terrain north of the Piedra River.
- Smoke will continue to be a problem in low lying areas in the early morning hours. Communities around the fire area in Archuleta, La Plata, Hinsdale, Mineral, Rio Grande and Conejos counties will experience potentially heavy smoke when the fire is active and wind is blowing their direction.