Gila National Forest – Owl Fire Update for July 3, 2018

Acres: ~1,850                                                                 Start Date: June 30, 2018

Cause: Lightning                                                           Location: 4 miles northeast of Saddle Mountain, Gila NF

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

Total Personnel: 116

General Information: The Owl Fire began on June 30, 2018. It is south of Aspen Mountain, near the Flying T trail in an inventoried roadless area (IRA).  The fire transitioned to a Type 3 organization today at 6:00 a.m., with Pedro Valenzuela, ICT3 and Jeff Campbell, ICT3-trainee.

Fire Operations: Crews have initiated fire on top of the Aspen Mountain trail to lower fire intensity from anticipated crown fire in the area of Pueblo Creek. Crews will continue to prep FR 209 with chainsaws and logging equipment, and other crews are scouting FR3241 as a control feature. Air resources are assigned to the incident.

Fire Behavior:  Fire behavior has been moderate to extreme, with group tree torching and isolated crown runs in the mixed conifer. Fire spread is primarily to the north and east, and visible from Alma, NM, along the US Hwy 180 corridor through Luna, NM. Smoke may also be visible in Alpine, AZ and Rancho Grande Subdivision.

Smoke:  Smoke settles in drainages and washes and begins drifting 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 

Fire Safety/Closures:  The district has temporarily closed the following trails:  #506 Aspen Mountain, #21 Flying T Spring, #515 Dangerous Park, #44 Cottonwood, and #36 Camp Canyon for public safety. The Gila National Forest is in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. Fire Danger is still rated as VERY HIGH.

Fire Information: Fire information can be found at and on Inciweb at  For information on the Gila National Forest, please visit or join the conversation on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GilaNForest.


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