Gila NF – Apache Fire — Update for September 6, 2019

Apache Fire Map_09062019


The southwest slope of Apache Mountain, on National Forest System Lands, Quemado Ranger District, Gila National Forest, Catron County, NM

Incident Start Date:  September 4, 2019                             Size: ~140 acres

Cause:  Lightning                                             Percent Contained:  0                                               IC:  Gabe Castanon, ICT4

Summary:  The Apache Fire was reported on Wednesday, September 4. It is located on the southwest slope of Apache Mountain, at approximately 8,500 feet elevation.  The fire is located in very steep, 90-100% slope, inaccessible terrain.   The fire is currently burning in mixed conifer and ponderosa pine with heavy amounts of down and dead material. Last evening fire growth was primarily to the southeast, with some growth upslope towards the east.  Smoke during the day is expected to move to the northeast towards Sand Flats however; tonight smoke modeling results indicates emissions could settle along Highway 32.  Early next week, Monday and Tuesday, a low pressure systems is forecasted with the possibility of moisture.  The passing of the cold front could result in smoke impacting Highway 32 and 12 in the Apache Creek area.

The plan for today is to monitor the fire behavior and growth, scout roads, and assess the need for area closures.  Additional resources have been ordered to assist with scouting and assessing containment options west of the fire.  Due to fire location and vegetation it is burning in, a considerable amount of moisture will be needed to put the fire out.  It is anticipated the Apache Fire will be a long duration event.

Firefighter and public safety remain the highest priority. There are currently no values at risk in the immediate fire area. This fire is highly visible from NM Hwy 12, the communities of Apache Creek, Reserve, Quemado, Pie Town, and the San Francisco Divide area. In the evening hours the fire will appear both larger and closer than it actually is due to the inability to reference its size to any physical landmarks.  For more information on this fire go to Inciweb

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 distance and visibility, please visit

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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