Gila National Forest – Update on Tadpole Fire for June 19, 2020 – Silver City Ranger District

Friday, June 19, 2020, 10:00 A.M. MT

Fire Information Line: (575) 654-4181

Visit the New Mexico Fire Information website at

Additional Fire Information available:

Office hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 


Location:  12 miles north of Silver City               Start Date: June 6, 2020            Size:  7500 acres          

Cause:  Lightning                                             Total Personnel:170                 Containment:  30%

Vegetation:  Timber with grass understory, brush, and chaparral

Resources: Four initial attack handcrews, six Type 6 light fire engines, one Type 4 medium fire engine, one Type 3 light helicopter, one Type 1 heavy helicopter. Air tankers are available at the Gila Aerial Fire Base.

SUMMARY:  The Tadpole Fire, was ignited by lightning and reported on June 6. The fire increased by 700 acres yesterday to 7500 acres and is 30% contained. The fire is started on the SW portion of Tadpole Ridge, on the Gila National Forest. The fire is burning in timber with grass understory, brush, and chaparral.

Yesterday, crews supported by engines performed hand ignition along the NM Hwy 15 corridor in order to strengthen the holding line.  Aerial ignitions were performed over the interior of the fire to minimize adverse fire effects in timber stands.

Crews continue to hold and strengthen containment lines along the north and east flanks. As the fire backs down from TX Mountain the focus will shift to securing the NM Hwy 15 corridor. The fire will continue to back down Wilson Creek, however, the fire is NOT established in or near Bear Creek.

Residents of Grant County can expect to see increased smoke production over the Tadpole fire today as interior islands consume and aerial ignition is performed and may experience increased smoke impacts from other regional fires.

WEATHER: Very dry conditions were observed in the fire area yesterday with observed humidity in the single digits. Winds were mild in the morning with breezy conditions observed in the afternoon. Today will be similar with west-southwest winds of 10-15 mph and gusts to 25 mph.  Decreased humidity and active wind resulted in increased smoke production yesterday and anticipate similar smoke production today. We are trending back to mid-June heat and dryness and are expecting elevated fire activity this afternoon. 

FIRE BEHAVIOR: Moderate fire activity was observed in Wilson Creek drainage, fire is backing with isolated torching and short runs back into the main fire. If firing conditions are favorable aerial and hand ignitions will occur today to secure the NM Hwy 15 corridor.  This will act as a preventative measure to decrease the potential for uncontrolled spread of fire and manage for low intensity fire.

CLOSURES: The Gila National Forest has issued a closure order for the area encompassing the Tadpole Fire. The order remains in effect until August 30, 2020 or until rescinded. Additionally, NM Hwy15 will remain closed until further notice, refer to NM 511 for more information

NM DOT is cleaning out culverts and ditches along NM Hwy 15 in preparation for the monsoon season. These assessments are the basis of post-fire actions taken to ensure public safety and to determine resources necessary to prevent further damage. As the assessment progresses, further information will be provided. 

For more information follow this link or visit the Gila National Forest website under Alerts and Notices. 

AIR QUAILITY: Air quality monitoring stations are in place and are providing smoke data and an air quality summary. For localized smoke impacts visit Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program  and  for real time smoke monitoring data and a daily smoke summary.

Please see the New Mexico Department of Health site also known as 5-3-1, for guidance on mitigating your smoke exposure.  Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures by staying inside during heavy smoke periods and avoiding outdoor activities.

SAFETY:  The Gila National Forest is currently under a campfire ban, including the use of charcoal grills. Use of pressurized fuel devices with an on/off switch are acceptable.

A temporary flight restriction is in place over the fire area. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. For more information visit Know Before You Fly, .

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