Gila National Forest – Owl Fire Update for July 9, 2018

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: 210

General Information: The Owl Fire began on June 30, 2018. The fire is located on Aspen Mountain and has crossed FR 209 into Frieborn Canyon in an inventoried roadless area (IRA).  Heavy fuels will continue to hold heat until substantial rainfall over the area. The fire perimeter is currently 51% contained.

Fire Operations: Prep has been completed on Horse Mesa, and crews will monitor and evaluate the need for firing operations as necessary. On the southwest corner of the fire, crews are assessing direct line construction options to stop the fire spread.  Some resources have begun mopping up and coordinating efforts to rehab brush and debris caused by prep work. 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:  Increased storm chances and potential for scattered storms with rapid runoff and strong downburst winds. The fire has received some precipitation which has aided in fire suppression efforts.

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 https://nmtracking.org/fire. 

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 https://nmfireinfo.com/ and on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5883/, and on the Gila NF Facebook.

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