Gila National Forest – Buzzard Fire Update for June 3, 2018

20180603_Buzzard Fire Smoke Outlook


Easterly Winds Challenge Eagle Peak Lookout

June 3, 2018 Daily Update


Acres:  29,727 Start Date: May 22, 2018
Cause: Human-caused Location: 10 miles NE of Reserve, NM. Gila NF
Containment: 41% Fuels: Timber (litter, grass, and understory)
Total personnel: 576

General Information: Heat from a large fire can change or create its own weather. Crews experienced this on the Buzzard Fire as winds in the area shifted to an easterly direction, aiding the firefight on the eastern side of the fire while creating a challenge for the firefighters working to protect Eagle Peak Lookout.

Fire Operations: Firefighters on the northeastern head were assisted by the wind at their backs in securing fire line and halting the forward spread of the fire. However, on the southern side of the fire those same winds aligned with fuels and steep terrain and pushing fire to the west, up and over Eagle Peak. Several days of preparation by firefighters prevented fire from impacting Eagle Peak Lookout, and no damage was reported. Air tankers and helicopters dropped water on the advancing fire in support of firefighters protecting the lookout. Overnight burning operations helped to secure fire control lines to the west of Deadman’s Ranch. With today’s projected winds, firefighters will prepare for burning operations on the southwestern edge of the fire.

Fire Safety Awareness:  Aerial firefighting aircraft, such as air tankers and helicopters, fly at very low altitudes, the same as UAS flown by individuals, creating the potential for mid-air collisions that could seriously injure or kill aerial and/or ground firefighters. When drones are spotted over wildfires, all aerial operations are shut down until the threat is confirmed to be removed. Suspended air operations can cause wildfires to grow larger, and in some cases, unduly threaten lives property and valuable natural resources. Individuals who fly UAS over wildfires may be violating federal, state, and local laws. Unauthorized flights over National Forest lands may be subject to civil penalties, including fines up to $27,500 and potential criminal prosecution. For information on current fire restrictions, please visit

 Fire Weather:  Mild and moist with good Relative Humidity recovery Sunday morning. An isolated dry thunderstorm will be possible from early morning through early evening. It will be warm, but not as dry as Saturday was. While winds will be breezy from the   south-southwest, thunderstorms may produce gusty and erratic winds.

Closures & Restrictions: The area around the fire remains 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 For information on current fire restrictions, please visit

Smoke Situation: Today’s small weather system passing to the north will generate south to southeast winds this morning, becoming south to southwest in the afternoon. Due to this variability in directions, most locations north of the fire will see some short-term smoke impacts. Areas around Reserve will continue to experience smoke impacts late in the evening, clearing by mid-morning. Silver City, Truth or Consequences and Socorro will see no impacts Sunday but will see light smoke returning late Monday. Quemado, Pie Town and Grants will see clearing this morning with only minor impacts possible Sunday evening through Monday. Even when smoke levels are not high, smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures.  For more information on air quality and health impacts due to wildfire smoke, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health website at  Smoke concentration data available 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 Office Hours: 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.
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