Have you looked outside today? Silver City has been blanketed in an orange haze of smoke from the Silver Fire. And it’s no wonder with the fire creeping closer to surpassing 100,000 acres. Today, the Silver Fire remains 20% contained and has scorched 90,217 acres of the Gila National Forest.
Full suppression efforts were expected to continue today, according to officials, though fire activity is also expected to remain high. The hot, dry, and unstable weather will probably continue to push the fire to the north, in the area east of Forest Trail No. 307, or the Crest Trail. Since the lower elevation fuels have primarily ceased fire activity to the west, crews will concentrate on the west flank of the Silver Fire. The north perimeter of the fire last night was reported in North Seco Canyon, south of Marshall Spring.
The small community of Kingston remains secure, and Highway 152 is also reported as secure- though the road remains closed to the public from San Lorenzo to Kingston. The border of the fire is currently about 3 miles southwest of Hermosa and 16 miles southwest of Winston. No evacuations have been ordered, and no structures have burned as of yet.
For those interested in heading out into the forest for the 4th of July, the majority of the Gila National Forest remains open for recreational use. For information about areas that have been closed for public safety, go to the Gila Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila. For information about Stage One Fire Restrictions, which remain in effect, visit firerestrictions.us. For information about road closures in the area, visit www.nmroads.com. Finally, be sure to exercise caution when participating in outdoor activities, as smoke can have adverse affects on health, and check https://nmtracking.org/fire before you go.
Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/gilaforest