Smoke Impacts at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

USDA Forest Service – Gila National Forest

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National Park Service

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument


Media Contact: Marta Call/Kevin Tillman

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Smoke Impacts at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

Mimbres, NM, May 28, 2021—The Johnson Fire on the Gila National Forest is burning within the boundaries of the Gila Wilderness. The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is receiving moderate smoke impacts from the fire. 

Smoke from fire rises up and away during the daytime, but in the evenings, smoke can pool back down in canyons, drainages, and basins. Smoke will visible from NM Highway 15, NM Hwy 35, and US Highway 180, and on the monument’s trail system. A smoke monitor has been placed at Gila Center to assess smoke impacts, and can be viewed at

The New Mexico Department of Health site also known as 5-3-1, has good information and 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.

Be extremely cautious if driving through smoke. The following are some useful tips:

  • Slow down. Visibility can be low and mountain roads are often narrow and winding. Watch for wildlife and livestock.
  • Roll up your windows.
  • Turn on your headlights

There are trail closures in the area west of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Know before you go and check out maps and fire information on Inciweb at

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