Gila NF: Johnson Fire Update for June 22, 2021

Tuesday June 22, 2021

Visit the New Mexico Fire Information website at


Fire Phone 575-519-0103     Email: 


Location: Wilderness Ranger District, Gila National Forest      Start Date: May 20, 2021      Size:  87,551 acres         

Cause:  Lightning   Vegetation:  Timber with grass understory, Pinyon and juniper woodlands, scrub, and brush  

Total Personnel: 153    Containment:  11% Resources:  1 Type 1 handcrew, 3 Type 2 handcrews, 3 helicopters, 8 engines and 3 water tenders

SUMMARY:  Structure assessment continues in the Willow Creek subdivision. A contingency line is being constructed around the Willow Creek subdivision should the fire progress in that direction. The northern side of the fire continues to hold on the West Fork of the Gila River and is being patrolled by horseback. The northeast side of the fire has been secured and crews will begin removing equipment. On the southeast flank, backing fire was observed in Water Canyon as the fire continued down toward the Gila River drainage. The southern side of the fire is backing into Hidden Pasture Meadow through timber and is exhibiting moderate fire behavior into Turkey Creek towards its confluence with the Gila River. As the southwest side continued to back down Mogollon Creek it has reached Seventy-Four Mountain. An additional helicopter with an external bucket arrived on the fire today.

INCIDENT OBJECTIVES: Provide for firefighter and public safety and allow fire to play its natural role on the landscape. Values at risk include the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, White Creek Cabin, and sensitive aquatic species in the Gila Wilderness.

FIRE BEHAVIOR: Moderate, with areas of backing, smoldering, and creeping.

CLOSURE: Due to hazardous fire conditions in the Johnson Fire area, an Emergency Area Closure order has been issued by the Gila National Forest for public health and safety. A large portion of the Gila Wilderness is CLOSED.  For a copy of the order and maps see: 

As a reminder “The Celebration Site-Skates area,” Johnson Fire Camp is closed to the public. For further information call 575-536-2250 (M-F 8:00 – 4:00 p.m.) or 575-519-0103 (any time before 7:00 p.m.)

WEATHER: Mostly sunny with maximum temperatures of 83-88 F, a 30 % chance of precipitation, and variable chances of lightning throughout the day. Humidity of 12-15% is expected with rain showers and storms predicted for the afternoon.

AIR QUALITY: The corridor from Reserve, NM to Glenwood, NM will see moderate smoke impacts from the Arizona fires. Please follow this link to provide you with real time smoke monitoring, simply find the monitor closest to your location: https://app.air- The New Mexico Department of Health site also known as 5-3-1, provides 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 Stage 1 Fire Restriction, including the use of charcoal grills. Use of pressurized fuel devices with an on/off switch are acceptable.  For more information follow this link or visit the Gila National Forest website under Alerts and Notices.

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