Lincoln National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3463 Las Palomas
Alamogordo, NM 88310
Fire managers on the Smokey Bear Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest have determined a lightning-caused fire that began May 26, 2019, will be allowed to fulfill its natural role and consume forest debris.
The Lone Mountain Fire began about 6 miles north of White Oaks, NM and is burning in an area consisting of ponderosa pine, heavy pinon-juniper and some grasses. Firefighters conducted ignition operations in the Castle Garden Mesa area on Friday, bringing the total number of acres to 124. Crews may conduct additional ignition operations throughout the weekend. Smoke may be visible from Highway 54, Carrizozo, White Oaks and Capitan, NM. In addition to the ignition operations, crews will be monitoring the burned areas to assess the level of fuel consumption post burn.
Allowing the fire to move across the landscape and consume forest fuels will help create a more resilient and fire-adapted ecosystem. Low intensity fires like the Lone Mountain Fire also help recycle nutrients back into the soil.
These types of fires do not have a planned end date, but fire personnel follow a specific process called Wildland Fire Decision Support System that helps guide and document wildfire decisions, as well as provides the information needed for decision makers to develop effective strategies and tactics when working with a wildfire.
Firefighters are restricting fire activity to a planning area with the perimeter of FS Road 9023B, FS Road 9874 and FS Road 483. These containment lines allow for the safest monitoring and confinement of the fire. However, it is highly unlikely the fire would blacken the entire planning area.
Additionally the Smokey Bear Ranger District is using an Unmanned Aerial Surveillance System (aka a drone) to map the fire in the field. This is the first time a UAS system has been deployed on a wildfire on the Lincoln National Forest.
Smoke Conditions: Currently, smoke impacts are limited; however, smoke may become visible from Highway 54, Carrizozo, White Oaks, Capitan, and surrounding areas. For more information on air quality and health impacts from smoke, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.