Gila National Forest – Baca Fire, 6/8/2017

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: 11,092 acres   Cause:  Lightning

Vegetation:          Ponderosa Pine, grass, and mixed conifer

Smoke:                 Smoke is visible within the surrounding area of Quemado, Horse Springs and Pie Town, NM.

Resources:          2 Wildland Fire Module, 4 Type 6 Engines.                   Containment:  14%

Incident Commander Type 4: Felix Valdez

Summary: 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.

Today fire personnel continued to monitor the fire, secure confinement lines, and conducted interior firing operations north of FSR93 in the Dead Horse Canyon Area.  This action was taken to help secure FSR 93 which serves as a confinement boundary.  Forest Roads 13, 13D, and 93 were patrolled by engines, and stump holes and logs adjacent to these roads were extinguished.

Tomorrow fire personnel will continue to monitor the fire, and secure FSR 13D, 13, and 93.  Additional firing operations are anticipated in the Dead Horse Canyon Area to secure confinement lines.   The weather outlook over the weekend is calling for high winds across the fire area Sunday and Monday.  Based on this weather forecast fire personnel will look to secure the fire’s edge in Salvador Canyon, north of FSR4017T located on Slaughter Mesa.

Until morning inversion lifts, travelers should take extra precautions due to potentially low visibility.  Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health

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 or For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at

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