Gila National Forest: Bear Fire & Skid Fire Update for July 14, 2019

Bear Fire

The lightning-caused Bear Fire is approximately 700 acres, burning on National Forest System lands on the Black Range Ranger District, Sierra County, NM. This fire is demonstrating low to moderate fire behavior.  Crews continued to work on the western edge holding firing operations. Fire activity on the east side was minimal. Today’s plan will be to continue prep on the 4052D. Crews will also be scouting a viable option to bring handline from the end of the 4052D road into Corduroy Canyon. 

Skid Fire

The lightning-caused Skid Fire is approximately 100 acres, burning on National Forest System lands in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness. Fire was backing down canyon to the north towards Morgan Creek. Fire activity was moderate and produced a well-defined column around 6 p.m. on Friday. Some torching was observed.  The initial test flight with the Silent Falcon UAS was a success. Data from the flight will be processed and the results will be processed throughout the day Saturday. This fire continues to be visible to the community of Winston, Truth or Consequences, and along the I-25 corridor north and south of Truth or Consequences.  In the evening hours the fire will appear both larger and closer than it is due to the inability to reference its size to any physical landmarks.  The fire is currently being monitored from the Hillsboro Peak Lookout and has demonstrated low to moderate fire behavior.

Summary: Reconnaissance has shown that these naturally-ignited fires are doing good things for the land. These fires are monitored 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. These fires will continue to reduce hazardous fuels accumulation and improve resiliency to wildfires and insect outbreaks during drought years.

Smoke from fire rises during the daytime, but in the evening can pool down in canyons, drainages, and basins, and we expect there may be smoke visible in Kingston, Hillsboro, and Truth or Consequences. For information on air quality and protecting your health, and to find guidance on distances and visibility, please visit monitors are set up in Mimbres, Winston and Gila Center.  Live tracking can be found at  for smoke monitor units USFS1054, USFS1035, and USFS1036 Fire information can be found at NM Fire Info and on Inciweb.

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