Gila NF: Cox Fire, Update for September 7

Location:

Turkey Run drainage, south of Burnt Cabin Flat and NM State Hwy. 59, on National Forest System Lands, Black Range Ranger District, Gila National Forest, Sierra County, NM

Incident Start Date:  August 27, 2019               Size: 61 acres

Cause:  Lightning          Percent Contained:  0                                        IC:  Dustin Roper, ICT 4

Summary:  The Cox Fire was reported on Tuesday, August 27th. It is located on the north of the Turkey Run drainage, at approximately 8,000 feet elevation.  The fire is burning the 2005 Boiler Fire footprint and the Area 74 Prescribed Fire planning area.   The fire is currently burning in mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, pinyon-juniper, and grasses with heavy amounts of down and dead material, and is slowly spreading north, east, and west. Fire managers will be utilizing this natural-caused fire to restore and maintain fire’s role in the ecosystem, reduce hazardous fuel loads, protect Mexican spotted owl habitat and help reinforce a fire-resilient landscape.

Plans:  Current plans call for point source protection along the southern boundary of the fire to reduce impacts to winter pastures for grazing and to monitor fire’s spread north, east, and west. The fire is currently staffed with one engine module, one initial attack module and one fuels module for a total of nine personnel.  There is potential for precipitation this weekend and into Monday.

Firefighter and public safety remain the highest priority. There are currently values at risk in the immediate fire area include grazing infrastructure, Mexican spotted owl habitat, and private property. This fire is highly visible from NM Hwy 59 and Forest Road 150. 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 contact Colten Moor, District Fuels Technician, Black Range Ranger District (575)894-6677.

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 https://nmtracking.org/environment/air/FireAndSmoke.html.

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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