Gila National Forest – Owl Fire Update for July 4, 2018

20180704_Map_Owl Fire_PublicInfoAcres: ~2,727                                                                       Start Date: June 30, 2018

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

Fuels: Timber (litter, grass and understory)                    Total Personnel: 169

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).

Fire Operations: Crews will continue to prep and ignite south on FR 209 and prep line west of US Hwy 180. Line is also being prepped in Bull Basin. 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 is working on a Temporary Area Closure for the following areas:  “The closure area is defined mostly by roads and one “section line” along the northernmost edge (northwest section of closure):  Starting at the junction of FR209 and US Hwy 180 following US Hwy 180 south to County Rd 13, heading west to FR209, then north along Forest Road 209 to Forest Road 4.  West along Forest Road 4 to Forest Road 4E, then north along Forest Road 4E to Forest Trail 126 (Frieborn Canyon).  North along Forest Trail 126 to the north side of Section 5 (Township 7S, Range 21 W), following the north end of Section 5 and Section 6 to Forest Road 900B, then east along FR900 to Forest Road 900, continuing east along Forest Road 900 to Forest Road 209 and north along Forest Road 209 and back to US Hwy 180. US Hwy 180 and County Rd 13 to Pueblo Park Campground will remain accessible to the public.”  The Gila NF 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, and on the Gila NF Facebook.

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