The following is a press release from Cannon Air Force Base:

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico (PRESS RELEASE) — First responders from surrounding communities quickly partnered with Cannon Air Force Base to extinguish an approximate 5,000-acre fire at Melrose Air Force Range on July 20, 2022.

On Wednesday at 8:17 p.m., lightning struck MAFR igniting a fire that spread throughout the western quadrant and approximately 100 yards beyond the range perimeter. The fire was successfully contained on Thursday morning at 3:11 a.m.

“Our firefighters received immediate resources from multiple partner fire departments to provide professional, sustained direct and indirect attack actions to contain the fire,” said Jason Berry, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron fire chief.

Participating agencies included Cannon Air Force Base, MAFR, Clovis, Portales, Floyd, Melrose, and Valley District Fire Departments, and contractors from Altus.

“We are grateful for the support we received from our community fire departments last night,” said Col Michael Shreves, 27th Special Operations Group commander. “Melrose Air Force Range is essential to our training and readiness. Our partners’ aid ensured our training mission at Melrose Air Force Range will continue uninterrupted, and they helped us protect the local community around the range which is a vital priority.”

Any additional updates will be provided on the CAFB Facebook page.

For questions, contact 27 SOW Public Affairs at (575) 784-4131 or

End of release.