Work on Diener Canyon and Bluewater Fires Shifts to Environmental and Road Repair

There is only one section of perimeter on the Bluewater Fire which is still requiring the attention of firefighters. It is at the northern end of the southeast flank along Salitre Mesa. The problem area is actually a cluster of several spot fires that emerged during last week’s wind events. Extinguishing the spots is being accomplished with arduous hands-on water application by firefighters on the ground carrying heavy bladder bags moving from spot to spot. With favorable weather conditions this last bit of open line is expected to be closed in a day or two. Meanwhile, a road grader and water tender are working on roads. Forest Roads (FR) 180, 480, 425 and 178 are all being repaired and graded to make sure they are in good shape for traffic after the area is reopened to the public. Green branches that were cut during suppression activities are now completely chipped and being used to repair hand and bulldozer lines.

The public will continue to see smoke coming from deep within the perimeters of both fires in the days ahead, especially during the warm and dry afternoon hours. This smoke is coming from isolated islands of fuels which will burn out naturally. Their locations are difficult and dangerous for firefighters to access. Since they pose no threat to the fire’s control lines or any private property they will be monitored and allowed to burn themselves out naturally.

All of the work that has been done to contain the fire will result in an expected adjustment to the forest closure that has been in effect since the fires started on April 12. The Cibola National Forest is expecting to lift the closure on portions of forest lands that are outside the fire perimeters today or tomorrow. FR 575 between the Diener Fire and the Bluewater Fire will remain closed.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire area is in place but is expected to be lifted in the soon Operating a drone or unmanned aerial vehicle in the TFR is strictly forbidden, and dangerous to aircraft employed in fire suppression.

Closures:  A closure order has been issued for the Forest in the area of the wildfires.  Bluewater Lake State Park is also closed to the public. In addition, the Bureau of Land Management Land has temporarily closed public lands in Cibola County within the area of the Bluewater Fire to all unauthorized entry, effective immediately.  This closure affects public lands within the Bluewater Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern, about 9 miles northwest of Milan, NM, and adjacent public lands administered by the BLM.  A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire area is in place.  Operating a drone or unmanned aerial vehicle in the TFR is also strictly forbidden, and dangerous to aircraft employed in fire suppression.

There are two contacts for anyone interested in soliciting for government wildland suppression and non-suppression contracts:

Fire Suppression VIPR: Stephanie Archuleta, Forest Service Contracting Officer for the Southwestern Region. Phone: 505-842-3127, email: snarchuleta@fs.fed.us

Non-Fire Suppression Contracts: Johnny Lanctot, Forest Service Northern Zone Acquisition Manager. Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands. Phone: 505-346-3909, email: johnnymlanctot@fs.fed.us

Diener Canyon Fire Statistics

Start date: April 12, 2018

Size: 9,338 acres (no change)

Location: Mount Sedgwick

Cause: spot fires from Redondo Prescribed Burn

Containment: 92 %

 Bluewater Fire Statistics

Start date: April 12, 2018

Size: 3,473 acres (no change)

Location: Salitre Mesa

Cause: abandoned campfire

Containment: 79%

Bluewater: 3 Type 2 crews, 1 dozer, 2 water tenders, 72 personnel

Diener Canyon: 2 helicopters, 4 engines, 55 personnel

 

Bluewater/Diener Canyon Fire Information: 575-322-6716 from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Twitter: @cibola_nf

NM Fire Info webpage:  nmfireinfo.com

G-mail: bdcfires@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cibolanf/

Bluewater Fire – Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5741/

Diener Canyon Fire – Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5742/

 

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