Gila National Forest – Update for Tadpole Fire for June 21, 2020, Silver City RD


Sunday, June 21, 2020

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:  8621 acres          

Cause:  Lightning                                             Total Personnel: 183                Containment:  30%

Vegetation:  Timber with grass understory, brush, and chaparral

Resources: Seven initial attack handcrews, five Type 6 light fire engines, one Type 4 medium fire engine, one Type 3 light 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 747 acres yesterday to 8621 acres and is 30% contained. The fire started on the southwest portion of Tadpole Ridge, on the Gila National Forest. The fire is burning in timber with grass understory, brush, and chaparral.

Yesterday, in order to reinforce the road, holding crews patrolled and monitored NM Hwy 15 and engines performed mop-up operations along NM Hwy 15.  Aerial ignitions were performed over the interior of the fire to minimize the spread of the fire in timber stands. This acts as a preventative measure to decrease the potential for uncontrolled spread of fire and manage for low intensity fire behavior.

Crews continue to hold and strengthen containment lines along the north and east flanks. As the fire backs down from TX Mountain and Wilson Creek, the focus will shift to monitoring fire behavior along TX Mountain, Wilson Creek, and patrolling NM Hwy 15 corridor. Today the fire will continue to back down Wilson Creek and TX Mountain.

Residents of Grant County can expect to see continued smoke production over the Tadpole fire today. Moderate smoke impacts may be observed in low lying areas overnight, with periods of light to moderate smoke during the day.  Additional smoke from other regional fires is impacting our local area.

WEATHER: Very dry conditions occurred over the fire area yesterday with observed humidity in the single digits for most of the day. Winds were mild in the morning with breezy conditions observed in the afternoon. Today will be similar, with expected temperatures in the mid to high 80’s, and west-southwest winds of 10-15 mph with gusts to 25 mph on the ridges.  Decreased humidity and active wind resulted in increased smoke production yesterday and we anticipate similar smoke production today. 

FIRE BEHAVIOR: Moderate fire activity was observed in Wilson Creek drainage, fire is backing down TX Mountain and Wilson Creek with isolated torching and short runs back into the main 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 Hwy 15 will remain closed until further notice, refer to NM 511 for more information 

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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