Gila National Forest – Owl Fire Update for July 7, 2018

Low to moderate fire growth due to high overnight recoveries.

Acres: ~4,500                                                                          Start Date: June 30, 2018

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

Fuels: Timber (litter, grass and understory)                    Total Personnel: 276

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).  Heavy fuels will continue to hold heat until substantial rainfall over the area.

Fire Operations: Crews will continue to prep Horse Mesa for ignitions, continue firing operations on Forest Road 209 and constructing line in Bull Basin. Air resources are assigned to the incident.

Fire Behavior:  Fire behavior has been low to moderate, with single tree torching. 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.

Weather:  As additional moisture arrives over the weekend and early next week, coverage of wetting rains will increase. Low level moisture will keep minimum RH values elevated along with cooler than normal temperatures.

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:  Forest Order 06-18-011 Owl Fire Temporary Area Closure is effective as of July 7.   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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