Timberon Fire Update Saturday 5-4-24 9:30 am Mandatory Evacuation Order Lifted Effective Noon


Fire Slurry Plane from Alamogordo Airport assists Timberon fire (AlamogordoTownNews.con)

The Oakmont Fire was discovered at 12:28 p.m., Friday, May 3, 2024; it is located in Timberon, NM. The fire is burning in a mixture of pinon, juniper and pine fuels within a populated neighborhood. The cause of the fire is under investigation according to a release from the National Forestry Service. 

As of 9:30 a.m., the Oakmont fire is zero percent contained and a GPS ground-truth assessment has defined its size as 120 acres. Crews worked overnight to patrol the fire’s edges and to extinguish smoldering materials using available water tenders. Hand lines were cut by the Interagency Hotshot Crews on scene.

Saturday morning 5-4-bulldozers will work to improve and widen those containment lines, and crews will seek to continue their work on interior smoldering. After finding that the fire’s behavior was decreasing, and that a threat to nearby structures was also lessening, a Type-3 Incident Command Team was not ordered. The Oakmont fire will remain a Type-4 incident according to the Forestry Division. 

Fire Weather Watch is in effect for the area until 9 p.m. this evening. Currently, the temperature is 72 degrees with winds from the west at 8 mph. Relative humidity is 11%. Winds becoming south/southwest 18-23 mph in the afternoon with gusts as high as 32 mph. A Red Flag Warning and a Fire Weather Watch are both in effect until 9 p.m. today for the area.

Evacuations/ Closures: Otero County will lift their mandatory evacuation order at 12 p.m. today. Residents will be allowed to return to their homes, although they should take precautions near the fire area. Road closures put into effect last night in the area will also be lifted.

The resources on site include: crews responding from Forestry Division, the US Forest Service, Otero County, and local volunteer fire departments. These include large air tanker and helicopter support, and the Smokey Bear and Sacramento Hotshot Crews.

The Cloudcroft Reader reports that according  to one first responder, the blaze burned two travel trailers and one double-wide residence but no other structures as of 8:00 p.m. last night.

The Sacramento and Smokey Bear Hotshot crews are still putting out lots of scattered burns and working towards containment before winds pick back up on Sunday.

Individuals within Timberon are reporting as of 845 am Saturday morningthe fire is getting under control they see bulldozers continuing to cut fire lines to further contain it. The weather this morning is blue skies with light clouds, sunshine, calm for now, and little smoke with temperatures around 52 degrees. 

The Cloudcroft High School Gym is the official shelter for mandatory evacuees from Sacramento and Paradise Valley Drives. If families have questions, they can call Cloudcroft Fire and EMS Department at 575-430-3473.

Cloudcroft Schools halted the Timberon bus routes, and put students as sheltered in place. The school’s reunification procedures were being coordinated with parents Friday. All are reunited with some families located at the evacuation center. 

The Cloudcroft Reader reported that area businesses were assisting with food for those sheltering in Cloudcroft. 

Otero County has opened the fairgrounds for animals and/or livestock. 401 Fairgrounds Rd, Alamogordo, NM 88310. Circle Cross Ranch has also accepted animals.

Expect increased activity in the area and on local roads as firefighters and equipment move to new locations. Please stay out of the fire area to allow crews safe access to the fire.

Crews are still actively working to ensure containment and cooling any potential hotspots to ensure the winds don’t reignite containment. The Forestry Service will release a further update soon and 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Town News andKALHRadio.org along with partnered news sources will be there.  Information and updates can also be found to follow fires in New Mexico on InciWeb, New Mexico Fire Information and New Mexico Forestry Division’s X account and Facebook. Fires can also be viewed through the New Mexico Forest & Watershed Institute’s Fire Viewer.

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