Regional
10:51 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Wildfire Burns Near Cloudcroft

  BENSEN FIRE  – FIRE UPDATE   

Start Date and Time:  4/10/14,  2:09 PM

Location:  3 miles west of Sunspot Observatory; 9 miles south of High Rolls; 20 miles southwest of Cloudcroft

Latitude:  32 deg, 45 min, 50.04 sec

Longitude: 105 deg, 52 min, 33.6 sec

Cause:  Under investigation, Unknown at this time

Size:  96 acres

Area Vegetation:  Ponderosa Pine, Pinon Juniper, Grass, Slash

Jurisdiction:  Lincoln National Forest and NM State Forest (1 -2 acres)

Percent Contained:  10%

Firefighting Resources on Scene: 4 type 1 hotshot crews from NM and AZ, 6 type 6 engines, 4 water tenders,  1 ambulance.

Personnel Assigned: 119

Injuries: None

Structures Threatened: There is no immediate threat to structures at this time. Sunspot Observatory is not threatened, however, it does lie in close proximity to the Bensen Fire. Firefighting efforts will focus on mitigating and stopping the fire’s spread towards the Observatory.

Evacuations:  No evacuations have been ordered. 

Closures: Dog Canyon Trail, West Side Road.  

Current Status: Firefighting resources were dispatched to engage in full suppression efforts as soon as the fire was reported. Yesterday ground resources, including 4 Hotshot Crews (hand crews), 6 engines and 4 water tenders, were able to make good progress; finishing line construction around the fire. Crews continue to secure control lines in preparation for a strong wind event today and Sunday, with winds expected to gust up to 50 miles an hour.

Public Information Officer:  Loretta Benavidez, llbenavidez@fs.fed.us   c:  575-430-5546,
Laura Walsh, lwalsh@fs.fed.us, p: 575-682-5311