Gila National Forest – Update on Buzzard Fire for June 15, 2018

Fire Suppression Repair Begins on Southwest Side of Buzzard Fire

June 15, 2018 Daily Update

Acres: 45,151                                                                 Start Date: May 22, 2018

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

Containment: 74%                                                         Fuels: Timber (litter, grass and understory)

Total Personnel: 362                                                                 

General Information: Trace amounts of rain and higher relative humidity caused the fire activity to lessen on Thursday.  With control line construction completed and minimal fire activity on the southwest side, fire suppression repair and rehabilitation are beginning.   Firefighters are monitoring the fire’s growth and assessing suppression repair needs. Seeding has been completed on control lines on the eastern portion and crews continue to work with an excavator to repair and rehabilitate control lines.  The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team will begin assessments of the fire area to recommend emergency treatments for erosion control.   

Fire Operations: On Friday, crews will dismantle control line equipment such as water pumps and hose lays and have the equipment hauled back to fire camp.  They will continue to mop up, patrol and secure lines in the Piney Tank area and dozer lines along FR 4166E and FR 4166F.  Crews are working with Resource Advisors to prepare and ready lines for fire suppression repair and rehabilitation.  On the southern end in the Salthouse Canyon area, firefighters will monitor the fire’s progression and continue firing operations to stay even with the fire’s edge.  With line construction complete and fire activity lessening, crews are being released to travel home or be reassigned to other incidents.

Fire Safety Awareness:   A Flash Flood Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for the San Francisco River Valley and Southwest Mountains.  Flash Flood Watch remains in effect from late tonight through Saturday afternoon.  A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.  Burned areas from current or recent fires will be especially susceptible to flash flooding. Be cautious around rising water in arroyos and small streams. Stay out of flooded low water crossings. While river flooding is not expected, rapid rises in streams and arroyos is likely.

 Fire Weather:  Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico continues to move into southwestern New Mexico today. This will bring more clouds, cooler temperatures, higher relative humidity, and increasing chances of rain and thunderstorms.  Scattered showers and storms are expected Friday afternoon, with better chances of rain Friday night and into Saturday.  This cooler, wetter weather pattern will benefit firefighters in strengthening and securing control lines.

Smoke Situation: As the fire continues to back slowly toward containment lines, moderate amounts of smoke are expected, causing impacts to populated areas. Ranches to the south and the down-drainage area near Reserve will continue to experience the late night and early morning smoke.  Smoke levels typically begin to increase in those areas beginning about 9:00 p.m. and peaking at 6:00 a.m., when they become unhealthy for sensitive groups.  Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures such as leaving windows closed.  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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