Lone Mountain Fire Update June 6, 2019

Incident Start Date: May 26, 2019
Cause: Lightning   
Size: 21 acres
Incident Type: Wildfire   
Vegetation Type:
Pinon-Juniper, Grass, and Ponderosa Pine
Fire Strategy: Confine and Contain      
Resources Assigned: 1 Wildland Fire Module, 1 Type-6 Engine
Total Personnel: 15

Fire Update: The lightning-caused fire that began May 26, 2019, is in an ideal location to allow the fire to help reduce hazardous fuel loadings and restore ponderosa pine stands.  The Lone Mountain Fire is located approximately six miles north of White Oaks, NM and is being managed by the Smokey Bear Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest. 

The fire is burning in a remote area dominated by closed canopy pinon-juniper woodlands.  There is not much benefit to trying to get pinon or juniper to burn this time of year, but the fire is burning the needles under the stringers of ponderosa pine with low intensity such that pines are barely affected. The fire has grown slowly over several days and is estimated at 21 acres.  

The Columbine Type-1 Wildland Fire Module team took command of the fire on June 2, 2019. This self-sufficient module also establishes transects and photo points for monitoring fire effects.  The decision at this time is to restrict fire activity to a specific planning area within the boundaries 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 that the fire would blacken the entire planning area.

Ignition operations are planned for the Castle Garden Mesa area on Friday. This may increase smoke in the immediate area, but should not affect any communities.

“We are seeing some very nice effects from this wildfire. Fuel loads in some of the ponderosa pine areas have been reduced by up to 50 percent,” stated District Ranger Jodie Canfield. 

Allowing the fire to move across the landscape and consume forest fuels will help protect the area from severe wildfire in the future.

Smoke Conditions: Currently, smoke impacts are limited; however, smoke may become visible from Carrizozo, White Oaks, Capitan, and surrounding areas beginning Friday. 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.

Closures and Restrictions: No closure orders are in effect.

Photo Captions: The lightning-caused Lone Mountain Fire is in an ideal location to allow the fire to help reduce hazardous fuel loadings and restore ponderosa pine stands. Photo Courtesy of the Lincoln National Forest.


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