Gila National Forest – Update on Buzzard Fire for June 11, 2018

Control Line Repair and Rehabilitation Nears Completion

June 11, 2018 Daily Update

Acres: 41,227                                                                             Start Date: May 22, 2018

Cause: Human-caused                                                                              Location: 10 miles NE of Reserve, NM (Gila NF)

Containment: 69%                                                                     Fuels: Timber (litter, grass and understory)

Total Personnel: 405                                                                 

General Information:   Control line repair and rehabilitation on the north side of the fire has been completed.  Along the southeastern portion, fire suppression repair work continues.  Crews continue line construction on the southwest flank to tie together all completed control lines and secure the fire perimeter.

Fire Operations: As the fire suppression work on the north side of the fire is completed, excavators are being moved to the southeastern portion of the fire to assist crews in finishing up fire suppression repair.  The excavators are used to construct water bars (erosion control structures) and pull brush and small logs over dozer lines to aid in revegetation.  Seeding is occurring on all constructed control lines.   Crews are making good progress in completing control lines around the southwestern side of the fire.  Firefighters are continuing to improve the dozer line along FR 4166E and will initiate firing operations as needed to minimize fire impacts to control lines.   A dozer line north of Rainy Mesa Ranch has been completed and hand line construction from Flattop Mesa toward Piney Tank has begun.

 Fire Safety Awareness: As a reminder, Apache Creek Campground is currently closed to the public and is being used as the Incident Command Post (fire camp) for the Buzzard Fire.  In an effort to keep fire personnel safe while in camp, smoke jumpers are being used to climb many of the large trees to cut out dead limbs and branches.   These branches can easily break off in the wind and pose a hazard to personnel and equipment below.     

 Fire Weather:  Dry air will remain in place for a couple of days with winds generally in a southwesterly direction during the day.  Temperatures will continue warming about 2-3 degrees each day with highs likely to approach 90 degrees by Tuesday.  Relative humidity to drop to the single digits.  Moisture is expected to move back into the area by Wednesday with the possibility of showers and thundershowers.

Closures: The area around the fire will remain closed for public safety until lifted by the Gila National Forest. 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 more information on Stage 2 fire restrictions, please visit

Smoke Situation: As the fire slowly backs through old burn scars toward containment lines, only moderate amounts of smoke are expected, causing minor impacts to the majority of populated areas. Ranches to the south and the down-drainage area near Reserve will continue to experience the late night and early morning impacts they have been receiving over the last 10 days. 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 is 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.



Twitter: @GilaNForest                                                                


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