Home News Local News Three Rivers Fire grows to 12,000 acres

Three Rivers Fire grows to 12,000 acres

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Despite a drop in temperature and some precipitation falling on parts of the blaze in higher elevations early Tuesday, the Three Rivers Fire continued to grow, consuming more acreage near the White Mountain Wilderness area.

The fire had expanded to 12,000 acres as of late Tuesday and was 5% contained, according to a press release issued by Laura Rabon, public affairs officer with the U.S. Forest Service, which is leading the effort to contain the blaze. She added there still have been no documented injuries or burned structures associated with the fire.

Rabon said earlier Tuesday that while the precipitation had aided in efforts to curtail the fire, heavy winds soon returned, further fanning the flames in the dry alpine area.

In all, 210 personnel were on the ground responding to the situation.

The fire began Monday morning a half-mile north of the Three Rivers Campground, rapidly expanding from 30 to 4,000 acres. By early Tuesday, it had nearly reached the Ski Apache area and had grown to 6,100 acres.

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One of the biggest obstacles to gaining control of the fire, Rabon said, is the rugged terrain and lack of roads in the area.

Rabon said Tuesday additional manpower and equipment are on their way to the area to help combat the fire. A Type 1 Incident Command Team was briefed late Tuesday and is anticipated to take control of the fire response sometime today. The Type 1 Team will be composed of personnel and equipment from multiple jurisdictions and led by David Bales, fire staff officer with the Lincoln National Forest, who has extensive experience in fire suppression.

Evacuation notices that were put in place Monday afternoon had been lifted for areas west of Highway 37, including Loma Grande, Cora Dutton Road, Ranchman’s Camp, Magado and the Church Mountain area, according to the press release.

Residents were also allowed back to Ski Run Road up to the Eagle’s Lake turn; Villa Madonna; the Nogal Canyon Area, until the Nogal Peak Trailhead; and the Bonito Canyon Area up to the Bonito Lake Dam. Tanbark remains evacuated.

Residents should remain vigilant and prepared for evacuations in these and other areas if fire behavior increases, according to the press release.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.