There was minimal growth on the Moore Fire on the Wilderness Ranger District Sunday. The lighting-caused fire is located seven miles east of Gila Hot Springs and estimated at 1,000 acres.

A new fire was detected Friday two miles northwest of the Moore Fire. The Middle Fire is reported 100 acres and will be managed along with the Moore Fire as a Type 3 incident under the command of the Gila Las Cruces Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team. About 25 personnel are assigned to the incident.

Gila National Forest officials considered many factors when they decided to manage these fires for resource objectives over the long-term instead of taking suppression actions. Some of the factors they evaluated involved the location, resource concerns, previous fire activity in the area, and current and forecast weather. The objectives they identified include removing hazardous fuels, reintroducing fire into the ecosystem and reducing the risk of future severe wildfire occurrence.

Please drive with caution along Highway 35 and Forest Road 150 as traffic has increased around the fire area.

Hazy skies are clearing after smoke from wildfires across the region settled in local communities around the Gila National Forest overnight.

Several lightning-caused wildfires are being managed to achieve resource objectives on the Gila National Forest: Pinon Fire on the Reserve Ranger District (1,600 acres), Moore Fire on the Wilderness Ranger District (950 acres), and the Middle Fire on the Wilderness Ranger District (50 acres). The three fires are being used to remove hazardous fuels and reduce the risk of severe wildfire occurrence. Another fire on the Wilderness Ranger District (Woodrow, 100 acres) is being suppressed.

Fire managers are coordinating with the New Mexico Environment Department Air Quality Bureau to monitor smoke impacts during the management of these incidents.

Smoke production may increase at times and settle in communities during the management of these fires as the accumulation of forest debris and dead and down fuel is burned. Smoke from a large fire in Arizona may also contribute to the overall accumulation of smoke over our communities. Visibility is an easy way to decide if it’s okay to go outside. Using visibility and staying indoors when it is smoky outside is a way to protect your health.