Silver City, NM; July 19, 2016 – For Immediate Release –

The Wilderness Ranger District continues to monitor the progress of several lightning caused fires in the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness Areas.

The Brannon and Timber fires have merged and are now both being called the Timber Fire.  The fire is burning in Township 14 South, Range 12 West, Sections 3-12 (T14S R12W S3-12) near the Brannon Park area.  The Timber fire was initially detected on July 3, 2016 and the Brannon fire was detected on July 9, 2016.  Both fires were caused by lightning strikes.  The fire has burned through drainages that feed into Rocky Canyon and is creeping slowly through ground fuels, exhibiting low fire behavior.  The fire is estimated to be 2,270 acres with 0% containment.  The progress of this fire is being monitored and managed for resource management benefits.  Crews are working outside the Wilderness boundary on Forest Road 4709C.

The Mesa Fire – T13S R12W S1 – This 18 acre, lightning caused fire was detected July 8, 2016.  The fire is burning in a series of drainages that contain ponderosa pine, pinon juniper and is burning through ground fuels.  The area around the drainages is composed mostly of grass and rock and the fire has done a good job of blacklining itself in the grass as it moved out of the drainages.  On July 18, staff monitoring this fire saw only two small smokes, both well into the black area of the fire.

Burnt Fire – T12S R10W S33 – This 167 acre, lightning caused fire was first detected on June 23, 2016.  And is in the Sheep Mountain, Bonner Canyon area.  This fire is also showing low spread potential and is burning in pine and grass with minimal fire behavior.