Gila NF/Wilderness Ranger District: Johnson Fire Update for July 2, 2021

 Location: Johnson Canyon, west of McKenna Park. 11 miles west of Gila Cliff Dwellings, Wilderness Ranger District, Catron County, NM

Start Date: May 20, 2021                            Size: ~88918 acres         Containment:  24%

Cause: Lightning                                            Vegetation: Ponderosa Pine and Grass

Resources: One Wildland Fire Module

Summary: The Johnson Fire is approximately 88,918 acres and is burning on National Forest System lands on the Wilderness Ranger District, Gila National Forest.  The fire is showing minimal activity. It has received some precipitation on most of the area. Most of the fire is uncontained line, but due to moisture, hitting natural geographic barriers, and fuels transitions, the fire is not experiencing any growth. On Wednesday, June 30 the fire transitioned from the Gila/Las Cruces Type 3 Incident Management Team to a Type 4 IMT with Jessica Hilfers as Incident Commander Type 4 and Aaron Huerta as ICT4 trainee. This fire will be monitored primarily via the Mogollon Baldy Lookout and occasional helicopter reconnaissance as needed. 

Objectives: Provide for public and firefighter safety and continue to allow fire to play its natural role on the landscape.  

Safety: Until significant monsoonal moisture occurs over the entire fire area interior smokes may pop up as unburned fuels are consumed.   

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.)

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.  

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