Gila National Forest – Final Update on Owl Fire, July 18, 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: 7

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 is 95% contained.

Fire Operations: The fire has transitioned to an ICT5.  An engine crew will continue to monitor Frieborn Canyon for fire activity. Completion of the suppression repair on Horse Mesa will be suspended until a drying trend occurs.  Aerial seeding has begun to stabilize high severity burn areas.

Fire Behavior:  The fire has received a substantial amount of rain over the last several days. Fire behavior has been minimal due to precipitation over the fire area and high overnight recoveries.  A few interior smokes remain throughout the fire area.

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.   Fire Danger is Moderate.

Fire Information: Fire information can be found at and on Inciweb at, and on the Gila NF Facebook.

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