Subtle Changes In The Making.
Water Vapor Satellite Image.
I shot this time-lapse video of the West Forest fire Saturday afternoon from State Highway 246, northeast of Capitan, New Mexico. Lightning ignited this fire on August 3rd. This is just one of a number of fires currently burning across New Mexico. Our area remains exceptionally dry (severe to extreme drought conditions) after three years in a row with La Niña conditions. The good news is that El Niño has kicked in so here’s hoping we have a wet ending to the summer that leads into a wet beginning of the fall before the first freeze occurs.
Release Date: Aug 11, 2023
Contact(s): Amanda Fry
Incident Start Date: August 3
Incident Type: Wildfire
Vegetation Type: Pinyon/Juniper
Fire Strategy: Confine/Contain
Fire Update: Crews from the Smokey Bear Ranger District continue working at the West Mountain Fire, a lightning-caused wildfire that began on August 3. The fire is currently being managed for forest health.
As of August 10, 2023, the fire was reported at 212 acres in size, and moving slowly across the landscape. It is staying within containment lines, and crews continue to establish dozer lines as well as utilize natural landscape for containment barriers. There are no structures or values at risk at this time.
Responders are allowing the fire to move naturally across the landscape, utilizing the event in a confine/contain strategy that will help clear overgrown fuels and debris in the area. In the long-term, it will help improve grazing conditions as well as mitigate the risk of a large-scale wildfire in the area in the future.
Management of naturally-ignited wildfires can protect critical infrastructure, improve watersheds and wildlife habitat, as well as help protect culturally-sensitive areas from future high-severity wildfires.
Smoke Conditions: Smoke will be visible from Ruidoso, Capitan, and along HWY 246.
Closures and Restrictions: None at this time.