Gila National Forest – Update on Buzzard Fire, May 23, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.


  • Reserve Ranger District on the Gila National Forest
  • 4 miles north of Eagle Peak Lookout
  • Catron County, New Mexico

Start Date:      May 22, 2018              Size:    ~3,000 acres

Cause:            Under investigation                 Vegetation:    Grass, heavy timber

Smoke:           Smoke may be visible in the area around Eagle Peak

Resources:    Three Type 6 engines, three Type 1 Initial Attack Crews, one Type 2 Initial Attack Crew, dozer

Incident Commander:  S. Norton, ICT3

Summary: The Buzzard Fire is burning on National Forest lands approximately four (4) miles north of Eagle Peak. A new start was reported on May 22, north of Eagle Peak Lookout. An air reconnaissance flight had confirmed the start and the fire is now at approximately 3,000 acres. The forest has imposed a Temporary Flight Restriction for over the fire. Values at risk include private property, the Continental Divide Trail, North Fork Negrito, Eagle Peak Lookout, Mexican spotted owl critical habitat, narrow-headed garter snake and Chiricahua Leopard frog habitat and rangeland grazing. A CDT re-route in in process. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the fire.

Initial Attack crews continue to prep FR 94 in order to do burn out operations during the night shift.  Smoke is visible in many areas of Catron County. A Type 2 Team will take over at 6:00 am on Thursday, May 24.

Smoke from 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 Fire information can be found at and on Inciweb at

Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures.  Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health website at

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at or join the conversation on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GilaNForest.

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