Gila National Forest – Baca Fire Update 6/4/2017

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: 6,800 acres    Cause: Lightning
Containment:14%                                                                                                                                  Vegetation: Ponderosa Pine, grass, and mixed conifer
Smoke: Smoke may be visible within the surrounding area of Quemado, Pie Town, Horse Springs, and Datil, NM
Resources: Type 1 crew: 1, Wildland Fire Module: 1, Type 6 Engine: 2, Misc. Overhead: 10 Total personnel: 67

THIS WILL BE THE LAST UPDATE UNTIL FIRE ACTIVITY CHANGES AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ARE ORDERED

The Baca Fire continues to burn on National Forest lands. The fire is being managed to protect values while balancing exposure to fire personnel and the public, utilizing a confine and contain strategy and tactics for the highest probability for success. There are no immediate values at risk in the fire area. Values surrounding the fire include private property, Quemado Lake Recreation Area, range improvement infrastructure and mixed conifer vegetation.

Due to past moisture and forecast showing extend rain events, demobilization of fire resources took place yesterday. A small contingency of firefighters will remain to monitor the fire and assess, as fuels dry out, when it is appropriate to ramp staffing back up to a level that can support the firing operation to contain the fire perimeter.

Until morning inversion lifts, travelers should take extra precautions due to potentially low visibility. While residual smoke may be detected, the average air quality is now Moderate. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health https://nmtracking.org/fire.

CLOSURES REMAIN IN EFFECT: FR13 from El Caso Campground to FR93 on Slaughter Mesa and east on FR93 to county road A095 are closed due to concerns for public and fire personnel safety.

A segment of the CDT – from Dead Horse Canyon north to Hwy 60 is closed due to increased fire activity. Please check with Quemado RD 575-773-4678 for maps of closure and suggested alterative reroute.

Fire information can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or nmfireinfo.com. For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila

June 3, 2017

Due to past moisture and forecast showing extend rain events, demobilization of fire resources will begin tomorrow. A small contingency of firefighters will remain to monitor the fire and assess, as fuels dry out, when it is appropriate to ramp staffing back up to a level that can support the firing operation to contain the fire perimeter.

Until morning inversion lifts, travelers should take extra precautions due to potentially low visibility. While residual smoke may be detected, the average air quality is now Moderate. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health https://nmtracking.org/fire.

CLOSURES REMAIN IN EFFECT: FR13 from El Caso Campground to FR93 on Slaughter Mesa and east on FR93 to county road A095 are closed due to concerns for public and fire personnel safety.

A segment of the CDT – from Dead Horse Canyon north to Hwy 60 is closed due to increased fire activity. Please check with Quemado RD 575-773-4678 for maps of closure and suggested alterative reroute.

June 2, 2017

While no measurable amount of rain fell on the fire yesterday, the cool weather and higher relative humidity limited fire spread, giving fire personnel an opportunity to improve containment perimeter. The planned firing operation eliminated activity slash to lessen severity of fire effects. Today, fire personnel will resume holding and improving the southern anchor point to improve containment lines and may implement firing operations as needed.

Chances of additional precipitation will diminish after Saturday and with the return of sunshine, fuels will begin to dry and fire activity is expected to return. Until morning inversion lifts, travelers should take extra precautions due to potentially low visibility. While residual smoke may be detected, the average air quality is now Moderate. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health https://nmtracking.org/fire.

June 1, 2017

Yesterday’s rain limited fire spread, and gave fire personnel an opportunity to secure the anchor point along the southern containment perimeter near Slaughter Mesa. The planned firing operation eliminated activity slash to lessen severity of fire effects. Today, fire personnel will resume holding and improving the southern anchor point to improve containment lines and may implement firing operations as needed.

Chances of additional precipitation will diminish after today and with the return of sunshine, fuels will begin to dry and fire activity is expected to return. Until morning inversion lifts, travelers should take extra precautions due to potentially low visibility.

IMG_0040

May 31, 2017

The Baca Fire is burning on National Forest lands in rugged terrain so a confine and contain strategy has been implemented, to limit exposure to fire personnel and the public. There are no immediate values at risk in the fire area. Values surrounding the fire include private property, Quemado Lake Recreation Area, range improvement infrastructure and mixed conifer vegetation.

Yesterday, fire personnel initiated the planned firing operation along the southern fire perimeter near Gabaldon Lake, to maintain containment, and lessen severity of fire effects. Today, fire personnel will resume holding along containment lines and may implement firing operations as needed.

Light precipitation and some lightning was observed in the fire area, with better chances of precipitation through Thursday. This weather pattern may lead to a smoldering fire that produces heavy smoke. Until morning inversion lifts, travelers should take extra precautions due to potentially low visibility.

Air Quality for Quemado Lake Estates and immediate vicinity of Baca Fire A smoke monitor was installed in Quemado Lake Estates at the request of the Quemado Ranger District to collect data and help with the assessing the management of the Baca Fire. Fire managers expect Air Quality to be Unhealthy for the next few days, thickest smoke is often encountered in the early morning when the cool night air causes the smoke to settle near the ground. This is the time when precautions should be taken.

  • If you have asthma, be vigilant about taking your medications, as prescribed by your doctor. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
  • If you cannot leave the smoky area, stay indoors with windows and doors closed and reducing physical activity.
  • Avoid use of spray air fresheners, artificially scented household products, these all add to poor indoor air quality.
  • Do not smoke or use vapor cigarettes.
  • If you cool your home with a swamp cooler don’t run it when smoky, turn unit off until air quality improves. For air conditioners keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside and keep window covering closed.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter elsewhere such as at a relative’s or friend’s home. During the day consider going to public libraries, senior center and other public places that may have air conditioning.
  • Do not rely on dust masks or wet handkerchiefs to protect your lungs. These will not filter out the fine particles from the air. It is better to stay inside when it is smoky outside and the visibility is low.
  • Indoor air filtration devices with HEPA filters can reduce the levels of particles indoors. Make sure to change your HEPA filters regularly. Don’t use an air cleaner that works by generating ozone. That puts more pollution in your home.CLOSURES: FR13 from El Caso Campground to FR93 on Slaughter Mesa and east on FR93 to county road A095 are closed due to concerns for public and fire personnel safety.
  • A segment of the CDT – from Dead Horse Canyon north to Hwy 60 is closed due to increased fire activity. Please check with Quemado RD 575-773-4678 for maps of closure and suggested alterative reroute.
  • Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health https://nmtracking.org/fire.

Fire information can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or nmfireinfo.com. For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila

Map Baca Fire

May 30, 2017

The Baca Fire is burning on National Forest lands in rugged terrain so a confine and contain strategy has been implemented. Yesterday, fire personnel initiated the planned aerial firing operation along the southern fire perimeter, to maintain containment, and lessen severity of fire effects. Scattered moisture and some lighting was observed in the fire area with better chances of precipitation through mid-week. This weather pattern may lead to a smoldering fire that produces heavy smoke. Until morning inversion lifts, travelers should take extra precautions due to potentially low visibility.

Today, fire personnel will resume holding along containment lines and may implement firing operations as needed. There are no immediate values at risk in the fire area. Values surrounding the fire include private property, Quemado Lake Recreation Area, range improvement infrastructure and mixed conifer vegetation. The objective is to confine and contain the fire within natural and manmade features, to limit exposure to fire personnel and the public.

CLOSURES:

FR13 from El Caso Campground to FR93 on Slaughter Mesa and east on FR93 to county road A095 are closed due to concerns for public and fire personnel safety.

A segment of the CDT – from Dead Horse Canyon north to Hwy 60 is closed due to increased fire activity. Please check with Quemado RD 575-773-4678 for maps of closure and suggested alterative reroute.

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 online at the New Mexico Department of Health website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.

May 29, 2017

The Baca Fire is burning on National Forest lands in rugged terrain. Yesterday, fire personnel initiated the planned firing operation along FR 13D. This was in response to fire movement to the south and west, and allowed firefighters to keep the main fire within established containment lines.

Today, fire personnel will resume holding along containment lines and may implement firing operations as needed. Moisture is predicted in the fire vicinity, and could modify fire behavior, which may lead to a smoldering fire that produces heavy smoke. Until inversion lifts travelers should take extra precautions due to low visibility.

There are no immediate values at risk in the fire area. Values surrounding the fire include private property, Quemado Lake Recreation Area, range improvement infrastructure and mixed conifer vegetation. The objective is to confine and contain the fire within natural and manmade features, to limit exposure to fire personnel and the public.

CLOSURES:

FR13 from El Caso Campground to FR93 on Slaughter Mesa and east on FR93 to county road A095 are closed due to concerns for public and fire personnel safety.

A segment of the CDT – from Dead Horse Canyon north to Hwy 60 is closed due to increased fire activity. Please check with Quemado RD 575-773-4678 for maps of closure and suggested alterative reroute.

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 online at the New Mexico Department of Health website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.”

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila Fire information can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or nmfireinfo.com.

Veterans, thank you for your service! Happy Memorial Day!

Baca_PIO_17x22_map

May 28, 2017

The Baca Fire is burning on National Forest lands in rugged terrain. Yesterday’s fire growth was due to lesser winds, allowing the fire to back southeast on Baca Mesa. The smoke column has also been more visible with the reduced winds.

Today, fire personnel will resume monitoring and patrolling along containment lines and may implement firing operations as needed. There are no immediate values at risk in the fire area. Values surrounding the fire include private property, Quemado Lake Recreation Area, range improvement infrastructure and mixed conifer vegetation. The objective is to confine and contain the fire within natural and manmade features, to limit exposure to fire personnel and the public.

CLOSURES:

FR13 from El Caso Campground to FR93 on Slaughter Mesa and east on FR93 to county road A095 are closed due to concerns for public and fire personnel safety.

A segment of the CDT – from Dead Horse Canyon north to Hwy 60 is closed due to increased fire activity. Please check with Quemado RD 575-773-4678 for maps of closure and suggested alterative reroute.

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 online at the New Mexico Department of Health website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.

Fire information can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or nmfireinfo.com. For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila.

Baca From Office

May 27, 2017

The Baca Fire is burning on National Forest lands in rugged terrain. Yesterday, fire personnel monitored and patrolled the northwest and southwest fire perimeter to hold during the Red Flag wind event. Today, fire personnel will resume holding along containment lines and may implement firing operations as needed. Smoke column may be more visible with reduced winds.

There are no immediate values at risk in the fire area. Values surrounding the fire include private property, Quemado Lake Recreation Area, range improvement infrastructure and mixed conifer vegetation. The objective is to confine and contain the fire within natural and manmade features, to limit exposure to fire personnel and the public.

CLOSURES:

FR13 from El Caso Campground to FR93 on Slaughter Mesa and east on FR93 to county road A095 are closed due to concerns for public and fire personnel safety.

A segment of the CDT – from Dead Horse Canyon north to Hwy 60 is closed due to increased fire activity. Please check with Quemado RD 575-773-4678 for maps of closure and suggested alterative reroute.

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 online at the New Mexico Department of Health website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.”

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila Fire information can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or nmfireinfo.com.

May 26, 2017

Due to fuels drying out, fire activity increased today. The Gila / Las Cruces Zone type 3 Team transitioned at 7:00 a.m.

Red flag conditions are expected across the fire area. Firing operations may be limited. Resources will continue to monitor and patrol the NW and SW of fire. 

Closures: FR13 from El Caso Campground to FR93 on Slaughter Mesa and east on FR93 to county road A095 . A segment of the CDT is now closed – from Dead Horse Canyon north to Hwy 60. Please check with Quemado RD for maps of closure and detour CDT trail user continue to be re-routed

May 22, 2017
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, range improvement infrastructure and mixed conifer vegetation. The objective is to confine and contain the fire within natural and manmade features, to limit exposure to fire personnel and the public. As the weather continues to dry out over the next few days, fire activity has begun to increase and smoke will become more visible from surrounding communities. Fire personnel will continue to monitor fire behavior and weather.
FR 13D and FR 323 are closed until a hazard assessment can be completed. 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 online at the New Mexico Department of Health website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.”
For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila or join the conversation on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GilaNForest/ or on twitter @GilaNForest or at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/.

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