Organ Mountains Fire 55 Percent Contained; Grows To More Than 11 Thousand Acres

Las Cruces – The increased winds continued over the fire Saturday. Two areas of the fire remain active. The first area is directly west of Aguirre Springs campground up slope where the fire moved slowly down hill and towards the north. The other area is in the upper reaches of Fillmore Canyon where there was little to no fire movement.

Fire Behavior: Low fire behavior was observed Saturday. The fire is moving north from Organ Peak backing down the mountain. Most of the fire stayed on the upper reaches of the mountain. The fire is creeping west into Fillmore Canyon. Fire is moving at the rate of approximately 1 chain per hour north towards Aguirre Springs Campground. Flame lengths were averaging one to two feet on the most active portions of the fire. In Fillmore canyon, the flame lengths were less than one foot. The fire is in an extremely rough and rocky area with limited access. This is still limiting direct suppression activities, which along with the high winds, create a dangerous situation to firefighters.

Suppression Actions: Crews completed a small firing operation south of Aguirre Springs campground to secure fire line and reduce the threat of fire making a run toward the campground. Line was improved in portions near the Rabbit Ears area for preparation for a possible firing operation in the near future. Suppression actions and a small firing operation were completed in the Texas Canyon area to prevent any fire movement in the southeastern portion of the fire.

Plans for Sunday: Direct suppression actions are planned in Fillmore Canyon if conditions are suitable. A possible ignition operation is planned to secure the line from Rabbit Ears area downhill to secure that portion of the fire. The planned ignition operation is to use hand ignition and to utilize possible water drops to hold the line in the rugged terrain. Patrol all other areas of containment lines.

Resources: 2- type 1 helicopters, 3 - type 1 hand crews, 3 - type 2 hand crews, 7 - engines, and various overhead for a total of 177 personnel.

Structures Threatened: No structures are threatened

Closures: Dripping Springs Natural Area (DSNA), Bar Canyon Trail, Baylor

Pass Trail, Pine Tree Trail (near Soledad Canyon), and Aguirre Springs

Campground are closed to the Public.