Gila National Forest – Corral and Straw Fire – June 27, 2017 @ 0800

Corral Fire

The Corral Fire is estimated at 19,850 acres and is burning with low to moderate intensity in pinon juniper grassland fuels and some pine stringers.  The fire received just under ½ inch of rain during Saturday’s precipitation. This fire is showing low behavior which is as it should in a fire-adapted ecosystem.  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.

Forest Service Road 150 is open to motorists. Huddleston-Lorton requests “that motorists use caution, maintain a “heads-up” approach and defer to instructions from the fire crews on the road.”

Straw Fire

The Straw Fire, at 9,360 acres, is also in the Gila Wilderness. Fire behavior is low.  This fire is about 2 miles east of the Gila Cliff Dwellings. This fire is also being managed 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 has crews stationed at the Gila Cliff Dwellings who are monitoring the Straw fire.  Monitoring is also occurring from Mogollon Baldy Lookout, high points on HWY 15 and the occasional aerial reconnaissance.  District Ranger Huddleston-Lorton requests that hikers use caution and maintain a heads up approach if they plan to hike west of the Cliff Dwellings.  Information is available at the Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center or the Ranger District in Mimbres. The Wilderness RD office will be open this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and intensify chronic heart and lung problems. Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside. If visibility is over 5 miles, the air quality is generally good. If you are having health effects from smoke exposure then take extra care to stay inside or get to an area with better air quality. You should also see your doctor or healthcare professional as needed. For information on air quality and protecting your health, and to find guidance on distances and visibility, please visit https://nmtracking.org/fire.

Air Quality reports for both east and west of the Continental Divide are posted on Inciweb. For further information on this fire https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/unit/3178/ or https://nmfireinfo.com/.

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