Baca Fire, May 17, 2017

Location: Quemado Ranger District on the Gila National Forest

6 miles northeast of Quemado Lake              Catron County, New Mexico

Start Date:      May 12, 2017              Size:    670 acres        Cause: Lightning

Vegetation:    Ponderosa Pine, grass.

Smoke:           Smoke may be visible within the surrounding area of Quemado, Pie Town, Horse Springs, and Datil, NM

Resources:    3 engine, 2 Type 2 crews, 1 Wildland Fire Module, and 2 Hotshot crews.

Incident Commander: Pete Valenzuela IC3

Summary: The Baca Fire is burning on National Forest lands in rugged terrain. There are no immediate values at risk in the area. Values surrounding the fire include private property, Quemado Lake Recreation Area, Continental Divide Trail – located east of the fire, range improvement infrastructure and mixed conifer vegetation. The objective is to confine and contain the fire within natural and manmade features, to limited exposure to fire personnel and the public. Yesterday’s weather temporarily slowed fire activity but with clear skies and temperatures returning to normal, expect to see smoke returning.

CDT hikers are discouraged from using the trail due to heavy fire activity and smoke through Macho Canyon area. We recommend at Dead Horse Canyon to take FR93 east to CRA095.north to Hy60. Forest visitors are discouraged from using FSRD 13D (Baca Pit RD) due to fire activity and fire vehicle traffic. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Sensors have been ordered to monitor air quality, information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health website at”

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at or join the conversation on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GilaNForest.

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