White Sands Missile Range > Featured News > WSMR Fire Extinguished Through Team Effort
WSMR Fire Extinguished Through Team Effort
Adriana Salas de Santiago
July 09, 2018

​The White Sands Missile Range Fire Department merged with the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management and Forest Services to help put out the fire that reached over 4,300 acres, north of Highway 70.

"This was a team of teams effort.  Several different organizations composed a unified response to manage this fire that had never worked together as a cohesive unit.  The teamwork was exceptional and more importantly, everyone was safe and there were no injuries," said WSMR Garrison Commander Col. Dave Brown.

The fire started June 24 when a truck carrying an RV pulled off onto vegetation on the side of the road near San Andreas Pass. The vegetation under the vehicle immediately caught fire and the high winds caused the fire to reach White Sands Missile Range, said WSMR Fire Chief Carlos Soto.

The BLM led the firefighting efforts. There were 11 WSMR firefighters assisting in the efforts every day. By June 30 the fire was almost fully contained. BLM turned over the efforts to the WSMR Fire Department, June 2. From there Soto said he and his team monitored the fire that was 100 percent extinguished by July 7.

"We assisted, we were part of the team," he said. "It's a partnership and we work very well together with BLM."

The fire traveled north throughout the range near Mineral Hill, off of Highway 70. Within a week the fire was put out near Mineral Hill. On June 29 the fire traveled in the proximity of a WSMR facility but BLM personnel worked to create burnouts near the facility to redirect the fire.    

There were no personnel injuries during the efforts to put out the fire and the WSMR community was informed of the air quality levels, which never reached a dangerous level necessary to evacuate.

This page was last updated on 10/26/2018 2:15 PM