Fire burns about 5.5 acres on south side of Capitan Mountains

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – A fire was detected on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 2 on the Smokey Bear Ranger District in the Lincoln National Forest. Forest Service officials say the cause of the fire is lightning. The East Mountain Fire was initially thought to be burning in the wilderness area of the Capital Mountain but following a reconnaissance mission, fire officials say it was located just outside of the boundary of the wilderness area near Bills Canyon.

Forest Service officials say the fire is approximately 5.5 acres in size and burning dead and downed trees that remain on the ground after the Peppin fire in 2004. The Forest Service says that smoke is visible from Highway 220, Airport Road, and the surrounding communities.

As of Wednesday, June 3, the fire is holding at three acres thanks to overnight rain and two single-engine air tankers that dropped fire retardant. Wednesday morning the fire was reportedly burning with low intensity and was not producing much smoke.

As of Thursday, June 4, crews are continuing to reinforce the fire line that surrounds the blaze. Fire officials report the blaze is burning in a rough rocky area and temperatures are expected to reach at least 90 degrees.

While the fire burns at a slow pace with low intensity, smoke may become visible. One engine, one helicopter and 10 personnel are currently assigned to the fire.

No structures are in immediate danger. The fire is expected to be contained by June 5, 2020.

East Mountain Fire

  • Size: Approximately 5.5 acres
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Fuel Type: Burning in dead and downed logs
  • At-Risk: Private land
  • Containment: 35%
  • Expected Containment Date: June 5, 2020
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