Gila National Forest – Update on Wilderness Fires, July 4, 2019

PIO Black & South 7-4PIO Woodrow & Little 7-4

Black Fire

The lightning-caused Black Fire is approximately 530 acres, burning on National Forest System lands in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness, Gila National Forest. This fire is approximately 20 miles northeast of Mimbres near the Black Canyon and in very steep and rugged terrain. This fire is actively burning on all sides with some isolated single tree torching and a 5-10-acre spot fire in the area of Black Canyon.

 

Little Fire

The lightning-caused Little Fire is approximately 312 acres, burning on National Forest System lands in the Gila Wilderness, Gila National Forest. This fire is approximately 4.5 miles west of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. This fire has black-lined itself and crossed the area of Little Creek and there is no visible smoke in the area. There are a few logs and a snag burning on the northwest side.

 

South Fire

The lightning-caused South Fire is approximately 780 acres, burning on National Forest System lands in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness, Gila National Forest. This fire is approximately 30 miles north of Mimbres. The South fire is predominately moving north; with an active perimeter. The vegetation on this fire is ponderosa pine, some mixed conifer; lots of heavy fuel (dead/down) on the ground.

 

Woodrow Fire

The lightning-caused Woodrow Fire is approximately 380 acres, burning on National Forest System lands in the Gila Wilderness, Gila National Forest. This fire is south of Mogollon Creek and south of Trail Canyon in T12S R16W section 31.

 

Summary: Helicopter reconnaissance shows that these naturally-ignited fires are doing good things for the land. All these fires will continue in a monitor status using lookouts and aerial reconnaissance. These fires are all exhibiting low to moderate effects, cleaning up dead and down trees, and debris from previous fires, and reducing ladder and surface fuels. There are only a few incidents of single tree torching and very few spot fires. These fires continue to help attain better forest health, improve habitat for wildlife and will improve the watershed since rainfall will be better able to reach the forest floor.

 

Smoke from fire rises during the daytime, but in the evening can pool down in canyons, drainages, and basins. For information on air quality and protecting your health, and to find guidance on distances and visibility, please visit https://nmtracking.org/fire. Fire information can be found at nmfireinfo.com and on Inciweb. 

 

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/gila or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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