Gila NF: Final Update on Johnson Fire – July 9, 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: 75%

Cause: Lightning                              Vegetation: Ponderosa Pine and Grass

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 precipitation on most of the area. Aerial reconnaissance shows no smoke or any other fire activity in the area.  This fire will be monitored until it is 100% contained and called out.

CLOSURE: The Emergency Area Closure for the Johnson Fire is lifted effective July 9, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Safety:  There are trails that are not recommended due to erosion, logs, and hazards from falling trees. Those include #182 Crest Trail, #153 Mogollon Trail, and #189 Rain Creek.  There may be other trails affected by either post-fire effects or flooding from monsoonal rains. The Forest is posting signage at popular wilderness trailheads to remind people of hazards of hiking/recreating in recently burned areas. 

Even when a fire is completely out there can be many hazards such as rolling rocks, soil erosion, flooding and falling trees. Make sure to look up and around while in the area effected by the Johnson Fire or any other recently burned area.

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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