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The Lincoln National Forest has extended its closure orders in the area of the Kellar Fire.

The closures include:

• Forest Service Road 277-C at FSR 277
• FSR 276 at the Eddy County Road 409 junction (Sitting Bull Gate)
• FSR 68 at the N.M. 137 junction
• FSR 525 at the N.M. 137 junction
• the Sitting Bull Falls day-use area and trail systems

The restricted area is bounded on the north by Last Chance Canyon, on the south by – but not including – N.M. 137, on the west along, and including, FSR 525, and on the east along, and including, FSR 68.

Exceptions to the closure include persons with a permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission; and any federal, state or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force engaged in the performance of an official duty.

A lightning strike started the low-intensity Kellar Fire, giving fire managers on the Lincoln National Forest the opportunity to use a natural ignition to restore fire to the landscape and achieve multiple resource benefits, which include reducing pinon/juniper density to enhance long-term forage production, increase resiliency to wildfire, and provide additional fire protection to the community of Queen.

As of 10:30 p.m. Thursday, the fire was 2,700 acres in size.

The perimeters were black-lined Thursday, and officials continued to alert the public that smoke could be visible in the surrounding area, including Carlsbad and Artesia.

For general information about the Lincoln National Forest, call 575-434-7200, Monday through Friday.