Gila National Forest – Buzzard Fire Update May 27, 2018

Fire Conditions Remain Elevated on the Buzzard Fire

May 27, 2018 Daily Update


Acres:  15,313 Start Date: May 22, 2018
Cause: Under investigation Location: NE of Eagle Peak Lookout, Gila NF
Containment: 10% Fuels: Timber (litter, grass, and understory)
Total personnel: 510


General Information: The Buzzard Fire grew nearly 3,000 acres in size yesterday, although some of the acreage gain was a result of burnout operations aimed at keeping the fire from spreading toward valuable resources. The anticipated high winds predicted for yesterday did not materialize until much later in the day, giving crews more time to construct additional fire line and conduct burnout operations along the roads. Crews were also able to proactively scout areas ahead of the fire to identify strong contingency lines.

Fire Operations: On the northwest side of the fire, crews have secured the fire edge as it nears Deep Canyon. Crews were able to locate a path through the steep ledges of Deep Canyon, construct fire line, and will begin conducting burnout activities through the canyon to secure their fire line. On the northeast side, crews have been successful in holding the fire south of the Long Canyon road (FR 3070). Fire line is being constructed along FR 3074 which, if successful, will contain the northern spread of the fire. On the eastern edge of the fire, near Cox Canyon, crews have completed fire line and will continue to burnout, allowing the main fire edge to continue backing into the wind as a low intensity surface fire. Firefighters will continue to use this successful strategy since the main fire edge is located in rugged, inaccessible terrain.

Fire Safety Awareness: Today and tomorrow are expected to bring critical fire weather over the region. Visitors and residents should use extreme caution in their use of fire or machinery. In addition, people should remain alert for heavy fire traffic as equipment and personnel will be travelling the roadways. Drivers should not stop along the roadside to observe helicopters. For information on current fire restrictions, go to

Fire Weather:  High temperatures and low humidity with strong, gusty winds are anticipated for today, which will likely result in extreme fire conditions. Existing weather conditions will persist for the foreseeable future over the fire.

Closures: The area around the fire is closed for public safety. Roadblocks have been set up by local law enforcement. In support of this closure, the Continental Divide Trail has been rerouted around the fire closures. The trail reroute map is available at More closure information is available at

Smoke Situation: The smoke plume will drift to the northeast today and continue to be visible throughout NE Catron County, especially along Highway 12 between Aragon and Datil.  Some smoke may also move into western Socorro County.  Smoke will settle in valleys overnight.  Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures.  Real-time smoke monitors have been deployed in Reserve and Aragon, and further deployments are planned. Data from these monitors will be made available within the next couple days. For more information on air quality and health impacts due to wildfire smoke, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health website at

Fire Information Links: Fire information can be found at and For information on the Gila National Forest, please visit .

 Fire Information: (602) 529-5924 (8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.)




Twitter: @GilaNForest

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