CAPITAN, N.M. (KRQE) – The blaze burning in the Lincoln National Forest near Boy Scout Mountain is now 15,044 acres. The blaze began on Wednesday, June 19 around 2 p.m. in the Smokey Bear Ranger District and is located off of Highway 246 and around four miles up Forest Service Road 130.
On Friday, July 5 the command of the Pine Lodge Fire was transferred to the Pecos Type-3 Team. The fire’s containment is expected to remain the same due to its inaccessibility in the wilderness area.
Firefighters will continue to mop up hotspots and patrol fire lines. While unburned areas of vegetation catch fire, smoke may be visible.
“A lot of it is weather-dependent, especially with that terrain out there. It’s all wind-driven,” said Chantel Herrick, spokesperson.
“We know how dangerous it is, so we’re very thankful for them for what they’re doing,” said Patti Jones, a Capitan resident. “We could see it moving and getting thicker and darker, so we were glad when the wind died down.”
The road closure of NM State Road 246 from Capitan to Roswell was lifted Saturday night at 6 p.m. A closure has been issued in the Capitan Mountains east of Capitan Gap Road until further notice.
A closure is in place for the Capitan Mountains east of Capitan Gap. Entry into the region is prohibited. The closure will remain in place until officials determine it safe for public re-entry.
“Mostly precaution, but also because we are using the state highway as a part of our holding line, our construction,” said Herrick.
Saturday, June 22, radio towers, cabins and 15 structures in the Arabella area were at risk. An Ecoservant trail crew was safely evacuated from the Capitan Peak Trail Wednesday, June 19. However, two cabins within Pine Lodge Recreational Residence Tract have burned. One vehicle was also burned in the fire.
The fire is currently 52% contained as of Sunday, July 7. The cause of the Pine Lodge Fire remains unknown and under investigation at this time.