New forest fire starts near Marble Canyon outside of Alamogordo

On Saturday, it was announced by the National Forest Service (NFS) that another fire had started north of Marble Canyon near Hershberger Peak outside of Alamogordo. 

Approximately 35 crew members have been dispatched to respond to the fire, around five acres in size. The cause of the blaze is currently under investigation. 

“Crews, including one hotshot crew and two engine staff, used ATVs and then hiked the rest of the way to reach the fire, where they discovered a 5-acre fire. They were able to assess the fire, terrain, and fuel conditions to begin their fire suppression efforts, which are expected to last into the night. Crews will sleep near the fire to continue fighting the fire as early as possible tomorrow morning,” wrote the NFS. 

“Fire activity has died down as the night progressed and temperatures dropped; however, the winds are still gusty. The fire is burning in an area with pinon-juniper, grass, and oak brush. Pinon-juniper trees tend to burn at hotter temperatures than other wood.” 

NFS reports that smoke is visible from Alamogordo, the High Rolls area, and West Side Rd.  Locals should expect smoke to be the heaviest in the mornings as it settles into drainages overnight. 

There are currently no evacuations in place at the moment.

Many on social media shared photos from their vantage points of the fire and smoke, writing well wishes to the firefighters. One man wrote, “May our firefighters fight this fire with the protection of our [L]ord and all his angels too putting this fire to rest as quickly as possible, may the lord cover you all with his blood and protection… let’s give our firefighters our protection as well…” 

The National Forest Service warns of an “above-normal fire year” in southern New Mexico “due to the extreme drought condition. Therefore, residents should begin preparing for a wildfire emergency by becoming familiar with the nationally-used Ready, Set, Go principles of evacuations.” 

The Three Rivers Fire in northern Lincoln County is near 100% containment, while two smaller new fires have emerged in the Gila wilderness. Read more about them here.

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