Gila National Forest – Black Range Complex Fires Update – 7/16/2016

Silver City, NM; July 16, 2016 – For Immediate Release – The Black Range Complex Fires on the Black Range Ranger District consist of two fires: the Kline Fire and the Cooney Fire. These lightning-caused fires started on Friday, July 8, and are located in the Black Range Mountains, 65 miles northwest of Truth Consequences, NM.

The Cooney Fire is located near Cooney Prairie (T10S, R14W, Sec 13), is approximately 3,600 acres burning with low to moderate effects in pine, oak and grass. The Kline Fire is located near Kline Mountain (T10S, R10W, Sec 14), is approximately 100 acres burning in ponderosa pine and piñon–juniper.

Yesterday, fire crews on the Cooney Fire completed fire line along FR 142C and along power lines located on the southwest side of the fire perimeter. Crews conducted burnout operation along County Road 21.  Fire crews on the Kline Fire yesterday conducted a burnout operation on the northern perimeter along FR 4073S. Line preparations are near completion on the currently identified management area for the Kline Fire.

Today, crews will continue to monitor low to moderate fire behavior on the Cooney Fire as the fire moves in an east and southwest direction.   Crews will continue to monitor the Kline fire as fire behavior and effects moves east and west along the fire perimeter.  As both the Cooney Fire and Kline Fires burn, predetermined management areas have been designated to manage these fires within those boundaries.  There are currently 110 fire personnel assigned to the Black Range Complex Fires.

Fire behavior and effects are being assessed to insure incident objectives are being met. These objectives include reducing hazardous fuels, maintain and returning fire to a fire-adaptive ecosystem, increasing firefighter and public safety, and protecting cultural resources and wildlife habitat.

The extended weather forecast for the Black Range Complex Fires for the weekend calls for a chance for afternoon and evening thunderstorms with temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s.   Smoke conditions will continue to be visible from Wolf Hollow Campground.  Campers can continue to experience drifting smoke and haze from the Cooney Fire and the Kline Fire.  Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found by calling the New Mexico Department of Health at 1-888-878-8992, or visiting the website at: https://nmtracking.org/fire.

At this time there are no road advisories or closures in place. There are no trail system closures within the Black Range Complex Fire perimeter.

For more information, please contact the Fire Information Line at: (575) 772-5747 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. located at the Incident Command Post at Beaverhead Work Center or visit the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com; and http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/. Also, you can find additional information at https://www.facebook.com/GilaNForest, and http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila  Twitter: @gilanforest.

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