Lincoln National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3463 Las Palomas
Alamogordo, NM 88310
Cause: Under investigation
Start Date: April 12, 2022
Location: Gavilan Canyon within the Village of Ruidoso
Fuels: Timber, brush, grasses
Structures burned: 207 primary structures, multiple outbuildings
Fatalities: 2 citizens
Highlights: Multiple pieces of firefighter equipment located in and around the fire area has been vandalized. Law enforcement is involved and an investigation is underway.
With objectives continuing to be met, the Southwest Area Incident Management Team 2 (SWAIMT2) will begin to transition the fire to a Type 4 Command structure on Thursday morning at 7:00 am. The SWAIMT2 will provide a final written update on Wednesday April 20th. Schools are back in session today. Expect increased traffic and congestion along Gavilan Canyon Road in addition to firefighter and utility company vehicles working in the area.
Operations: Yesterday, there was no need for aircraft to assist with bucket drops but a fixed wing aircraft was utilized for a reconnaissance flight. This flight found minimal heat across the fire area, including Moon Mountain. Debris piles on the northern end of the fire, created during suppression efforts, are producing smoke visible to nearby residents. This fire activity does not pose a threat to the fire line at this time and crews will remain onsite to monitor. With the decrease in fire activity, no fire growth over several days, and objectives being met, resources are being released to help with other fires located in New Mexico and Arizona.
Crews have begun to implement the suppression repair plan for the fire area. Fire suppression repair is a series of immediate post-fire actions taken to repair damages and minimize potential soil erosion and impacts resulting from fire suppression activities. This work usually begins before the fire is contained and before the demobilization of an Incident Management Team. This work repairs the hand and dozer fire lines, roads, trails, staging areas, safety zones and drop points used during fire suppression effort.
Evacuations: All evacuations were lifted at 10:00 am on Sunday, April 17th.
Safety: While the majority of the communities have been repopulated for a few days, we ask that people remain vigilant when driving in and around the fire area. There remains a heavy presence of firefighters and utility company workers in the area. Reduce your speed, plan extra time to travel to and from your home, and turn on your headlights to increase your visibility to other drivers. We want everyone to safely arrive to their destination and limit the impact on crews completing work. Avoid the fire area if you do not live within the communities to reduce disruptions for fire operations.
A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place: Wildfires are a NO Drone Zone. Flying recreational and media drones within a TFR is illegal and impedes fire suppression efforts. Report drones to local law enforcement. If You Fly, We Can’t!
Fire Information: Public 505-356-2636 Media 505-445-8278
NM Fire Information:https://nmfireinfo.com/