The Whites Peak wildfire burning south of Philmont Scout Ranch near Cimarron grew to an estimated 900-plus acres in size overnight, according to information New Mexico State Forestry Spokesman Dan Ware released at 8:30 a.m. Friday (June 14).
The fire is now threatening three structures to the southeast, and one outbuilding and a cabin to the north, according to Ware.
“Cooler temperatures and higher humidity overnight slowed down the spread and the intensity of the fire,” Ware said in a statement Friday morning. “Ground and air resources will work today to build and maintain containment lines ahead of the fire.”
The fire is burning on private, forested land about 10 miles north of Ocate, or roughly 15 miles southeast of Angel Fire. The fire was zero percent contained at 8:30 a.m. Friday, according to Ware.
“Main fire is burning to the N-NE and was making short lived runs with isolated group torching and long range spotting yesterday,” Ware said in the statement Friday morning. “Good relative humidity recoveries and decrease in temperature were seen overnight which aided in a decrease in active fire behavior and growth. Chance of precipitation is forecasted over the fire site which will aid with suppression efforts.”
Information released by Kit Carson Electric Cooperative Friday morning states that a brief power outage in the Angel Fire/Black Lake area is possible as the fire threatens a power line.
“If an outage occurs due to the fire, the duration will last approximately 3 minutes while switching order/procedures take place,” Kit Carson officials said in a written statement.
A total of 84 people were helping to fight the blaze at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Ware said. The resources on the scene at that time included 11 engines, three bulldozers, three hand crews, one helicopter, two air tankers, and two water tenders.
The Pecos Zone Type III incident management team will take command of the fire later today, Ware said Friday morning.
Ware said the fire was caused by lightning at 11:20 a.m. Thursday (June 13). On Friday morning, he said no evacuations had been ordered because of the fire.
With the wildfire burning roughly three miles south of Philmont Scout Ranch, about 100 people near the camp’s southern border were being moved to other areas Thursday afternoon.
“We’re moving folks to different program areas. It’s not an evacuation, because we really don’t have an evacuation reason right now,” the camp’s Public Information Officer Owen McCulloch said at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday. “...We’re still at the very beginning of our summer season, so we’re just starting to get people into the back-country.”