Gila National Forest – Owl Fire Update for July 15, 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: 29

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 fuel loads will continue to hold heat. The fire perimeter remains at 79% containment. Updates will continue on a limited basis until the fire reaches 90% containment.

Fire Operations: Crews will continue to monitor Frieborn Canyon and do rehabilitation work on the fire line. Completion of the suppression repair will be suspended until a drying trend occurs.

Fire Behavior:  The fire has received a substantial amount of rain over the last several days. Fire behavior has been low due to precipitation over the fire area and high overnight recoveries.

Weather:  Moisture will remain plentiful through the early part of the week, before a slow drying trend sets in. Daily chances of wetting precipitation will continue. The fire has received substantial 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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