Under the radar fire has burned 29,000 acres

3D map OK Bar Fire

Above: 3D map of the OK Bar Fire looking north, showing the perimeter at 3:06 a.m. MDT April 28, 2018.

A wildfire that is not getting much attention has burned over 29,000 acres in Southern New Mexico. The OK Bar Fire has a Type 4 Incident Commander assigned, the second lowest level for an IC, and 32 other personnel. It is in the southern panhandle of the state 21 miles south of Animas and has grown to within 9 miles of the Mexican border.

The fire is being managed by New Mexico State Forestry using a less than full suppression strategy. Fires not being suppressed do not receive the same exposure from the public agencies as conventional blazes, and this one may get even less in the next few days. After it grew by almost 5,000 acres on Friday, the national Situation Report for Saturday described the fire like this:

Extreme fire behavior. Last narrative report unless significant activity occurs.

Saturday morning the interagency fire information site for New Mexico did not include any information about the fire. It is not listed on InciWeb.

Following the expansion on the south end Friday, the situation is not likely to improve much in the near future. The area is under a Red Flag Warning Saturday. On Sunday and Monday the wind speed will increase each day, gusting out of the southwest above 30 mph.

The OK Bar Fire started April 22 and is burning on the Diamond A and Gray Ranches. It is expected to continue to move south over the Center Creek Mountains and east towards the Cowboy Rim/ Timber Lake Mountains.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Under the radar fire has burned 29,000 acres”

  1. This is nice to see a light hand as far as suppression goes. Some years ago I had an opportunity to meet with the Gray Ranch manager and discuss fire. The ranch had a very progressive outlook on the place of fire in land management, and I was impressed.


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