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Monument Fire

Unit Information

Lincoln National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
New Mexico
Alamogordo, NM 88310

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This incident is no longer being updated.

This is the FINAL update for the Monument Fire unless there is a significant change to report:

The Monument Fire on the Sacramento Ranger District was detected on June 2nd at 5:41 pm. The fire area is located about 8 miles southwest of Weed, NM, and 4 miles northeast of Timberon, NM, along the ridge of the Sacramento Mountains, elevation 8,521 ft. The fire area is in a remote location with limited access.

The lightning-caused Monument Fire is 100% contained at 176 acres. The fire has been contained within a defined area that is surrounded by a combination of roads and natural barriers. Firefighters continue to monitor and patrol the well-established containment line and fire area.

No aerial ignitions are planned and no further hand ignitions are planned. One Forest Service engine and four firefighters are assigned to the Monument Fire.

Fire Behavior: Fire activity has been reduced to minimal levels and stumps are naturally smoldering. Light smoke may still be visible inside the burn area.
Fuels: Needle leaf cast, grasses, downed trees, aspen, oak, and mixed conifer. There are several pockets of thick mixed dead conifer and old decadent aspen stands inside containment lines.

Predicted Weather: The fire has consistently received rain over the area in the last seven days. Temperatures through the end of the week will be in the mid- to high 80’s. Chances of showers and thunderstorms are predicted for Saturday and Sunday.

Values at Risk: All values at risk have been mitigated due to minimal fire behavior and persistent weather conditions.

Restrictions & Closures: There are no closures in order for the Monument Fire area.

Special Concerns: Firefighter and public safety is remains the top priority in managing wildland fires.

Fire History and Goals/Objectives for the Monument Fire: A wildfire last burned in this area during the Circle Cross fire in the 1950’s. Since the Circle Cross fire, moderate to heavy fuel loading has accumulated over the decades consisting of fallen trees, branches, snags, and burned stumps. In 2016, a mastication fuels treatment project began to remove the fuel loading and restore the natural ecosystem. This project produced conditions that granted an opportunity for a low intensity natural fire to:

  • Further reduce fuel loading by preventing severe wildfires that could negatively affect the area, change the overall landscape and reduce the wildfire risk to nearby communities.

  • Improve forage plants for numerous animal species.

  • Regenerate depleted aspen stands.

·Three COMMUNITY MEETINGS were held June 6-8 in Weed, Timberon and Cloudcroft.

Regarding smoke, in the event of a prescribed fire or wildfire: If visibility becomes lower because of smoke, please visit the NM Department of Health’s smoke page:

Definitions of Management Strategies for the MONUMENT Fire

A wildfire response strategy of restricting a wildfire to a defined area, primarily using natural barriers that are expected to restrict the spread of the wildfire under the prevailing and forecasted weather conditions.
    • Definition Extension: Some response action may be required to augment or connect natural barriers (e.g. line construction, burn-out, bucket drops, etc.).


The orderly collection, analysis, and interpretation of environmental data to evaluate management's progress toward meeting objectives, and to identify changes in natural systems. Monitoring is also conducted on wildland fires to observe fire effects, fire behavior, or both. For example, the work done by Fire Effects Monitor (FEMO) or Field Observer (FOBS) positions.

Point/Zone Protection:

A wildfire response strategy which protects specific assets or highly valued resources from the wildfire without directly halting the continued spread of the wildfire.
    • Definition Extension: 1) Points or zones being protected may be communities, individual structures, areas of high resource value, etc. 2) Continued wildfire spread may be desirable in order to achieve management objectives or may be inevitable due to extreme burning conditions, safety concerns, or other limitations.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginFriday June 02nd, 2017 approx. 05:45 PM
LocationApproximately 8 miles SW of Weed, NM and 4 miles NE of Timberon, NM
Incident CommanderTim McElheny, Forest Service
Incident DescriptionMonitor And Patrol
Coordinates32.693 latitude, -105.663 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel4
Size176 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained100%
Fuels Involved

Needle leaf cast, grasses, downed trees, aspen, oak, and mixed conifer. There are several pockets of thick mixed dead conifer and old decadent aspen stands inside containment lines.

Significant Events

The fire is in a confine/monitor/patrol status.


Planned Actions

Firefighters are patrolling and monitoring the fire area.

Projected Incident Activity

Monitor and patrol of the fire area


There are no closures in place for the Monument Fire.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

The fire has consistently received precipitation over the past week. The weekly forecast shows high temperatures are expected in the 80s.