Windy, Dry Weather in Forecast for New Mexico Fire

CAPITAN, N.M. (AP) -- Firefighters worked in warmer, drier weather Friday to clear 50 miles of line along the flanks of a blaze that has burned 25,573 acres in the Capitan Mountains.

They had cleared 25 miles as of Friday morning, preparing for burnout operations that had been scheduled for Friday but were postponed because of the weather.

The burnout on the fire's western and southern sides likely will be done Sunday because of strong wind and warmer, dry weather predicted for Saturday, said Joe Luttman, a fire information officer.

The lightning-caused Peppin fire is six miles northeast of Capitan in the Lincoln National Forest in south-central New Mexico. It has burned 12 cabins and several outbuildings in the Pine Lodge area.

Rainfall Thursday - ranging from 0.03 to 0.10 of an inch - helped lower temperatures and raise humidity.

There were 576 people assigned to the fire, along with five helicopters, two single-engine air tankers, 25 engines, 15 water tenders and six bulldozers.

Meanwhile, firefighters were mopping up the 5,280-acre Lookout fire 50 miles to the northwest in the Gallinas Mountains. The fire, eight miles west of Corona in the Cibola National Forest, destoroyed a ranch house and two unoccupied communications buildings.