Gila National Forest – Owl Fire Update for July 11, 2018

Acres: ~4,786                                                              Start Date: June 30, 2018

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

Fuels: Timber (litter, grass and understory)                    Total Personnel: 142

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 63% contained.

Fire Operations: Crews will monitor Frieborn Canyon and assess trigger points for hand ignition, and hold direct line on the western side of the fire. On the southwest corner of the fire, crews have halted fire spread with direct line construction.  Suppression repair continues on all divisions. Air resources are assigned to the incident.

Fire Behavior:  Fire behavior has been low due to precipitation over the fire area and high overnight recoveries. 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:  Moist unstable air will continue to flow into southern New Mexico. This weather pattern will generate showers and thunderstorm over much of the area. Locally heavy rains are possible which may cause flooding over a few locations. 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 

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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