UPDATE 6/25: The Pine Lodge fire grew to more than 9,000 acres and is 5% contained. Find out more.
Twenty mile per hour wind gusts blew the Pine Lodge wildfire in southeastern New Mexico away from threatened structures and toward forested areas Monday.
Fire Information Officer Karen Takai says crews are using a ‘catchers mitt’ strategy to corral the flames. “The fingers, the fires, have gone out in different areas, in different directions,” she said, “and so they are trying to catch all those little fingers that are pushing out.”
The fire is uncontained and has burned 7,898 acres of mixed piñon, grass and ponderosa in the Lincoln National Forest near the Capitan Mountain Wilderness. Over 300 personnel are working the fire which is threatening 15 structures near Arabela, New Mexico.
“We’re in fire season and we become complacent about taking care of ourselves, our families and our homes and our landscapes,” Takai said, “but you need to be concerned. You need to be prepared.” Firefighters are trained to be vigilant when humidity is low, temperatures are high, and winds pick up, she said.
There’s a community meeting scheduled for Monday June 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Capital Traylor Gymnasium.