Our goal here at Silver City Radio is to keep you, our listeners, up to date on the latest forest fire news.
The Willow Fire that started on Sunday, is burning on lands 6 miles east of Mogollon in the Glenwood Ranger District Gila National Forest, and is covering 375 acres with a 0% containment. The fire has crossed Crest Trail #182 and is burning in the Whitewater-Baldy Fire scar from 2012 in heavy dead and down fuels. The majority of the fire perimeter is in the Gila Wilderness and closures are in effect. The fire continues to grow slowly with moderate fire behavior. Yesterday, the perimeter growth was primarily to the south up Willow Mountain with only about 50-75 acres change in size. Crews continue to assess and implement structure protection for the values at risk — the Indian Creek cabins, the Bearwallow Lookout, and the Willow Creek subdivision. The Gila National Forest has implemented a temporary closure order for public health and safety. The public is asked to respect the closure order for their safety and the safety of firefighting crews working in the area. NM Hwy 159 is closed at mile post 12 into Willow Creek.
Regarding the Buzzard Fire, that started on May 22nd, located 10 miles NE of Reserve in the Gila National Forest, has covered 44,402 acres, is utilizing 383 personnel and has a containment of 74%. The expected moisture moving into the burn area will lessen fire activity giving firefighters an opportunity to strengthen and secure control lines. As line construction in the southwest portion of the fire is completed, all control lines surrounding the fire will be tied in. Crews will monitor the fire’s progression and evaluate the need for firing operations to secure control lines. Work continues with the excavator to finish suppression repair and rehabilitation on the eastern side of the fire. Yesterday, crews utilized helicopters to begin an aerial firing operation to keep up with the fire’s progression and secure control lines along FR 4166E and Trail #768. The control line between Flattop Mesa and Piney Tank is expected to be completed today and crews will prepare it for possible firing operations. Firefighters continue to assess fire growth along the dozer line adjacent to the North Fork of Negrito Creek and in the Salthouse Canyon area. Firing operations to stay even with the fire’s edge will continue. Moisture will start to move in over the burn area today with a few isolated thunderstorms possible in the afternoon. There is a possibility of dry lightning due to the low relative humidity. Winds are expected to be generally light but could be gusty and erratic near the thunderstorms. A better chance of rain is expected tomorrow and into the weekend.
Remember, smoke from fire rises up and away during the daytime, but in the evening smoke can pool back down in canyons, drainages, and basins. For information on air quality and protecting your health, and to find guidance on distances and visibility, please visit nmtracking.org/fire.
For more on these fires, check out nmfireinfo.com. We have information posted on our website as we receive it and will post on silvercityradio.com, with additional links for you to receive information from the forest service.