Capitan Gap Fire
The Capitan Gap Fire was a 17,000 acres (69 km²) human-caused forest fire that broke out in the Capitan Mountains range within Lincoln National Forest, in Lincoln County, eastern New Mexico in 1950. It was named for Capitan Gap in the mountain range.
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.
Smokey Bear Vista Point overlooks some of the wildfire's site in Lincoln National Forest.
- "Capitan Gap Fire Disaster". Retrieved 2013-08-02.
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