Gila NF: Johnson Fire Update for June 27, 2021

Sunday June 27, 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:  88420 acres          

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

Total Personnel: 107    Containment:  24%

Resources:  1 Type 1 handcrew, 2 Type 2 handcrews, 1 type 3 helicopter, 8 engines and 3 water tenders

SUMMARY:  Biologists and fire personnel were successful in removing approximately 350 Gila trout from Langstroth Creek and White Creek yesterday. 250 pure lineage Gila trout were removed from Langstroth Creek and 100 mixed lineage Gila trout were removed from White Creek.  Biologists determined the need to remove the fish after assessing the potential for ash flow impacts to the creek after the fire, during monsoon season. These creeks will be monitored for riparian recovery for a year at minimum, and once the creek has stabilized, Gila trout will be returned to their natural habitat in the headwaters they were removed from. All Gila trout will be moved to the Mora National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center in Mora, New Mexico.  The Mora National Fish Hatchery is dedicated to the restoration and recovery of the threatened Gila trout, a fish found only in the high desert and mountain watersheds of the Gila, Salt, and Verde drainages in New Mexico and Arizona. Biologists maintain wild brood stocks of the rare Gila trout, keeping them in as much a natural setting as possible.  The Gila National Forest and the Mora National Fish Hatchery have a long and successful partnership together to protect Gila trout after wildfires occur on the forest.

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

FIRE BEHAVIOR: Moderate to light, with areas of backing 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: A dramatic change is weather is expected to arrive this afternoon, bringing wetting rains and a strong cold front to the area.  Mostly sunny until the afternoon hours when thunderstorms are predicted.  60% chance of rain today with temperatures between 70 and 75 degrees. Relative humidity is forecast between 30% and 34%.  Rain!

AIR QUALITY: All areas surrounding the Johnson Fire should see good air quality with the possible exception of Truth or Consequences, NM which will see good degrading to moderate.  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 visit the Gila National Forest website under Alerts and Notices.

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