Three Rivers Fire remains at 7,040 acres, 50% contained

Wildfires

Smoke from Three Rivers Fire near Alto, east of Ski Apache. Courtesy of Erick Enriquez

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – New estimates have determined the Three Rivers Fire is 7,040 acres in size and 50% contained. The fire is still burning in the Smokey Bear Ranger District in the Lincoln National Forest.

Forest Service officials report that command of the fire remains under a Type-4 interagency organization. According to a press release from the Lincoln National Forest, firefighters continue to monitor the fire and are focusing on areas where they can safely construct direct and indirect firelines.

The Forest Service states that due to an increase in relative humidity and light rain showers, there is minimal fire behavior. While additional rain showers are expected on Friday, red flag conditions are expected over the weekend and may continue into next week which will result in increased fire behavior.

Crews will work to monitor areas that are inaccessible and will look for opportunities to construct firelines. Additionally firefighters will work to extinguish hotspots within the fire’s perimeter.

Fire officials report that control lines on the southern edge of the fire are secure and holding. This wear is where the fire had crossed into the Mescalero Apache tribal lands near Indian Creek.

The Forest Service states that’s common for small areas of unburned vegetation are still within the fire’s perimeter to continue to smolder and produce smoke which may be visible during the afternoon and in the early evening.


Story continues below

Image courtesy United States Department of Agriculture

On Saturday, May 8, the USDA announced the temporary closure of the Three Rivers Campground and trailhead. This is due to post-fire flooding and debris flows being four times more likely than pre-fire conditions. Large boulders and woody debris and can easily be transported down the Three Rivers stream channel. Only those with forest service authorization or any federal, state, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting team are allowed at this time.

The Lincoln National Forestand Mescalero Apache Tribal lands are under fire restrictions. No campfires are allowed outside of developed campgrounds and no smoking outdoors in the forest.

The Capital Mountains Wilderness remains open however, there is a closure order has also been issued for a part of the White Mountains Wilderness that includes all trails within the wilderness area:

  • T12 Telephone Canyon Trail
  • T16 Miners Road Trail
  • T18 Peacock Trail
  • T19 Southfork Trail
  • T20 Rodamaker Trail
  • T22 Mills Canyon Trail
  • T23 Sanders Ridge Trail
  • T24 Dry Mills Trail
  • T25 Crest Trail
  • T26 Nogal Peak Trail
  • T27 Spring Canyon Trail
  • T29 Phantom Trail
  • T31 Maverick Trail
  • T33 Bluefront Trail
  • T34 Norman Canyon Trail
  • T35 Aspen Trail
  • T36 Big Bonito Trail
  • T37 Little Bonito Trail
  • T38 Cut Across Trail
  • T39 Argentina Canyon Trail
  • T40 Turkey Canyon Trail
  • T41 Skull Springs Trail
  • T42 Clear Water Trail
  • T43 Oak Ridge Trail
  • T44 Three Rivers Trail
  • T46 Dry Canyon Trail
  • T47 Goat Canyon Trail
  • T48 Nogal Canyon Trail
  • T49 Barber Ridge Trail
  • T50 Doherty Ridge Trail
  • T51 Pennsylvania Canyon Trail
  • T52 Gaylord Trail
  • T53 Water Canyon Trail
  • T54 Tortolita Canyon Trail
  • T55 Church Mountain Trail
  • T77 North Eagle Creek Trail

The following evacuations have been lifted:

  • Nogal Canyon Area (until the Nogal Peak Trailhead)
  • Bonito Canyon Area up to the Bonito Lake Dam
  • Church Mountain
  • Ranchman’s Camp
  • Loma Grande
  • Cora Dutton
  • Magado
  • Ski Apache Up to the Eagle Lakes turn
  • Villa Madonna

Fire officials report that evacuations are subject to change due to fire activity and weather. Those in the area are urged to continue to be vigilant and prepared to be evacuated again if there are any changes to the fire’s behavior.


Coverage continues below

  • Start Date: Morning of Monday, April 26, 2021
  • Fire Size: 7,040
  • Containment: 50%
  • Estimated Containment Date: Sunday, July 4, 2021, approx. 12:00 am
  • Cause: Unknown, Under Investigation
  • Location: The fire started half a mile north of Three Rivers Campground and has spread to Ski Apache and the South Fork/Bonito Area
  • Resources: 71
  • Structures Threatened: No
  • Structures Burned:  No
  • Evacuations: Have been lifted
  • Area Vegetation: Grass, dead and down timber, mixed conifer

Evacuation Centers are still available

  • Nazarean Church Camp at 200 Bonito Park Rd. Alto, NM 88316
  • Capitan Senior Center at 412 Tiger Drive Capitan, NM 88316
  • Ruidoso Downs Senior Center at 393 Highway 70 West Rd. Ruidoso Downs, NM 88346.
  • (Evacuees with livestock can take their animals to Lincoln County Fairgrounds at 101 5th St. Capitan, NM.)
  • The Red Cross has opened up Angus Church of Nazarene at 103 Bonita Park Rd., Angus, NM for evacuees.

Wildfires are a No Drone Zone: Forest officials remind the public that every time a drone is seen near the fire, all aircraft are grounded until they can be sure the drone is out of the area.

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Image courtesy Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team 2

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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