Gila NF: Final Update from Gila/Las Cruces IMT on Johnson Fire, June 30, 2021

Wednesday, June 30, 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:  88918 acres          

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

Total Personnel: 57      Containment:  24%

Resources:  1 Type 2 initial attack handcrew, 1 type 3 helicopter, 1 type 6 engine and 1 water tender

SUMMARY:  Today, the Gila/Las Cruces Type 3 Incident Management Team will return command of the fire back to the Wilderness Ranger District.  Rain fell on large portions of the fire yesterday, and forest users will likely see discoloration in stream flows caused by ash from the Johnson Fire. With the onset of the monsoon season it is advised that Forest users not camp in floodplains. As upland soils become saturated with predicted rainfall, stream flows will continue to increase.

The Incident Commander of the Johnson Fire would like to express appreciation for the public support and patience during this incident.  “The support our team has experienced over the course of the Johnson Fire has been positive and supportive, with many visitors and local residents having the opportunity to see what active and thoughtful fire management can achieve.” states Sam Bullington. Enjoy your public lands and have a safe summer.

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: 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 flood advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service, extending through July 1, 1200 A.M. Please turn around, don’t drown.

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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