Gila National Forest – Copperas Fire

Location:        1 mile southwest of Copperas Mountain, Gila Wilderness, Wilderness Ranger District

Start Date:     June 27, 2017             Size:   10 acres                      Cause: Lightning

Vegetation:    Heavy fuels including large grass component, mostly ponderosa pine with an oak component.

Resources:    9 person Wilderness hand crew, 3 helitack members

Containment: 0%

Summary: The Copperas Fire is burning west of NM State Highway 15 and south of the Clinton P. Anderson Scenic Overlook on the Gila National Forest in the Gila Wilderness.  The weather predictions for the next few days include hotter and drier conditions, with a possibility for a small surge in moisture going into the weekend and early next week.

Values at risk include human health, powerlines that serve the community of Gila Hot Springs and the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Crews have been dispatched via helicopter and full suppression is the strategy for this fire.

Smoke from the fire rises up and away during the daytime, but in the evening smoke can pool back down in canyons, drainages, and basins. 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.

Fire information can be found at nmfireinfo.com.

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