Lincoln National Forest – FINAL FIRE UPDATE: 4/23/16 11:00 am – Gilson Canyon Fire

Fire Update:  4/22/16  11:00 am  “Gilson Canyon Fire”

Jurisdiction: Lincoln National Forest, Guadalupe Ranger District

Date/Time Detected: 4/20/16  3:05 pm

Location: Approximately 6 miles northeast of Queen, NM and east of Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area

Lat/Long: 32 deg, 14 min, 32.31 sec X 104 deg, 41’ 26.89 min

Legal Description: T24S, R22E, Sec 3

Firefighting Resources:  2 engines, 2 water tenders, 1 helicopter, overhead and 22 firefighters are assigned to the fire. Some firefighters and firefighting resources are being released today (4/23/16).

Cause: Human-caused and under investigation.

Size:  15 acres (no change)

Containment:  90%

Initial Response Status: Local County and Federal Agency firefighters responded to a smoke report in a remote area northeast of Queen, NM.  As ground resources mobilized, an aviation resource, also known as “Air Attack Group Supervisor” (in a fixed-wing airplane) was deployed to perform an aerial reconnaissance of the fire and provide an initial size -up.  The fire was burning in 2’- 4’ tall grass and brush.  It was described to have “low to moderate” spread and was burning through an area of “broken” fuels (not a consistent fuel bed), within a rocky area along a 25% slope.

Ground firefighting resources arrived on scene shortly after 6 pm.  Firefighters will remain on the fire until released.  At the time of this update (4/20/16 7:30 pm) the fire size was estimated to be 2 – 4 acres and 0% contained.

A fire investigation is underway.

4/23/16 – 11:00 am THIS IS THE FINAL STATUS UPDATE:  The fire size remains at 15 acres and as of last night was 90% contained.  Firefighters returned to the fire this morning to complete mop-up operations and fireline construction with a goal of 100% containment.  Some firefighting resources are being released today.  The helicopter is still on site, however, no helicopter missions are planned for the Gilson Canyon Fire at this time–the ship will remain in the vicinity, but will be available for response to new incidents in the area. This is the FINAL Fire Update for the Gilson Canyon Fire, unless there is a significant change to report. 

4/22/16 – 7:00 pm STATUS UPDATE:  The fire size remains at 15 acres and is now 90% contained.  Additional personnel (7 firefighters) arrived this morning to assist with the containment and mop-up efforts.  Most of the fire perimeter held well through increased winds today.  Firefighters concentrated their efforts on several spots of open flames within the interior of the fire and heat that was still present along a short segment of the containment line.  The fire will not be staffed tonight, however firefighters will return to the site at daybreak to continue mopping up and working on the remainder of the containment line.

4/22/16 – 9:30 am STATUS UPDATE:  The fire size remains at 15 acres and 70% contained.  Additional personnel (7 firefighters) are expected to arrive later this morning to assist with the containment and mop-up efforts.  There is still a considerable amount of heat within the interior. Hotter daytime temperatures and southern winds contribute to the low-to-moderate fire behavior in this high-desert environment. The water tenders and helicopter remain assigned to the fire.  All operations are going well.  No injuries or accidents have been reported. 

4/21/16 – 7:00 pm STATUS UPDATE:  Firefighting resources were successful in keeping the fire from spreading.  The fire size remains at 15 acres and the fire is now 70% contained.  While they continue to secure the perimeter and work on full containment of the fire, they are also mopping up the interior portions of the fire that are smoldering.  All operations are going well.  No injuries or accidents have been reported. 

4/21/16 – 1:00 pm STATUS UPDATE:  Additional resources, including a helicopter and two water tenders are now on scene and assigned to the fire.  Firefighters are making good progress working on hot spots and furthering the containment of the fire.  The topography presents challenges as the fire creeps and smolders through tall grass and ground vegetation over loose rock and rock outcrops. At the time of this update (4/21/16 – 1:00 pm), fire size is 15 acres, 25% contained.

4/21/16 – 10:15 am STATUS UPDATE:  Upon arrival, firefighters discovered a downed powerline that needed to be de-energized before they could safely work in the area of the fire.  The power company responded appropriately and had the powerline de-energized by late evening.  In the meantime the fire continued to smolder and creep, which resulted in the additional growth. The fire is burning in grass and brush in very rough, rugged terrain.  A helicopter has been ordered to provide aerial support, including recon and water drops.

The FINAL Fire Update was posted on 4/23/16 – 11:00 am.

PIO: Loretta Benavidez,  575-430-5546

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