Gila NF: Drummond Fire Update, June 10, 2021

Date: June 10, 2021

Announcement: Unless significant fire activity increases on the Drummond Fire, news releases will occur only as changes develop during the next week.

Location:  The Drummond Fire is one mile south of Emory Pass on the Gila National Forest, Black Range Ranger District, Sierra County, NM

Start Date:  May 19, 2021                Size: 501 acres                          Cause:  Lightning

Summary:  The Drummond and the Trujillo Fires were ignited by lightning on National Forest System lands on the Black Range Ranger District, Gila National Forest on May 19. Both ignited within the 2013 Silver Fire scar. The Trujillo Fire did not grow and has not generated smoke since May 21, 2021. During a June 1, 2021 isolated thunderstorm, the Drummond Fire received about .9 inches of rain and has remained smoldering in heavy downed logs. Yesterday it generated some small, isolated smoke columns, but its footprint has not grown since the June 1, 2021 rain and hot spots within the fire remain isolated.

A public meeting in Kingston yesterday, June 8, provided an opportunity for attendees to learn from the unmanned aerial system (Drone) operators flying and mapping the fire, how this fairly new technology is being used. Drones can map the fire perimeter, perform infrared filming to detect heat across the fire, and to otherwise provide timely eyes on the fire from above for incident managers.  Added benefits also were addressed of reduced danger to helicopter observation teams flying low level in treacherous terrain, at a much lower cost than those of helicopter use, and for more immediate availability to fire managers of current fire activity.

For safety reasons, fire managers continue to use indirect tactics to contain the fire, while assigned resources make improvements to fuel breaks erected around the fire, concurrently monitoring the fire’s activity.

Objectives:  Fire manager’s primary objectives remain minimizing the impact of fire on wildland firefighters, public safety, and protecting natural resources. 

Closures:  Black Range Crest Trail 79 – Closed from NM Highway 152 south to National Forest Road (NFRS) 886. Royal John Rd., Grandview Trail 146 – Closed from NFSR 523 Silver Creek Rd. to Black Range Crest Trail 79. Trujillo Trail 134 – Closed from Black Range Crest Trail 79 to Private Seven Brothers – Closed from NFSR 886 Royal John Rd to Black Range Crest Trail 79.

Smoke/Air Quality:  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.  Smoke will be visible and settle into the area of Kingston, Hillsboro, Lake Valley, and will also be visible on NM Hwy 152 and Interstate 25. Fire information can be found on or on Inciweb at . For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website.

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