Gila National Forest – Corral Fire and Straw Fire on Wilderness Ranger District – Update 6/14/2017

Corral Fire

The Corral Fire is estimated at 5,550 acres and is burning with low to moderate intensity in pinon juniper grassland fuels and some pine stringers.  The fire is burning on the ground and no extreme fire behavior was noted during the flight today. There is a 30 person hand crew assigned to this fire.  The planning box for this fire is fairly large and extends north to Diamond Creek.  Private landowners have been notified. The fire is burning through the west flank of the 2015 Moore Fire.  This 2015 low-moderate intensity fire is helping to moderate the behavior of the current fire because there are no heavy fuels in the pine stringers and the Corral Fire can move through the grass with minimal effect.  This is fire as it should behave in a fire adapted ecosystem.  We are seeing some smoke up at Gila Hotsprings and the Gila Center and will be installing a smoke monitor there tomorrow.  The fire did move south and west along the Black Canyon rim but did not get into the canyon itself. The strategy of this fire is to reduce live woody fuels, reduce fuel loads on the ground, improve forest health and watershed conditions, and support the reintroduction of fire in the natural ecosystem.

Straw Fire

The Straw Fire, at 2,500 acres is also in the Gila Wilderness. Fire behavior is low to moderate.  Two firefighters went in on horseback today to evaluate the EE Trail for prep needs down to where it joins the trail to Little Creek (Trail No. 163 to 161).  The EE Trail (163) was logged out by volunteers from the Gila Chapter of Backcountry Horseman’s Association so is likely in good condition.  This is a big help as we manage multiple fires on the district.  The Wilderness Ranger District is managing this fire for multiple objectives including fuels reduction, reduce live wood density in the pinon-juniper and maintain the natural role of fire in the Wilderness.  The district will monitor the Straw Fire from Mogollon Baldy Lookout, high points on HWY 15 and the occasional aerial reconnaissance.

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 www.facebook.com/GilaNForest/ or follow us on Twitter @GilaNForest.

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