Capitan Gap fire

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Tahoe National Forest Fire Engine 731 and Crew at Smokey Bear Vista Point in June 1990. Capitan Gap is the pass located in the distance between the Engine and the sign.

The Capitan Gap Fire was a 17,000 acres (69 km²) human-caused forest fire that broke out in Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico in the Capitan mountain range in 1950.[1]

While a 24-man firefighting crew desperately dug firebreaks the wind shifted, and the fire jumped the line. The men buried themselves in the earth of a recent landslide, and survived the fire.

Also during the blaze, a bear cub who the men had previously seen ducking in and out of the forest survived the fire by climbing a tree and hanging onto the windward side with only singes and other survivable injuries. He was rescued by the firefighters and named Hotfoot, before filling the role of Smokey Bear.


  1. ^ "Capitan Gap Fire Disaster". Retrieved 2013-08-02. 

See also[edit]