Water Fire Update, May 1st – 11:00 AM

Water Fire Update, May 1st – 11:00 AM

Jurisdiction:  USFS, Gila National Forest

Date/Time detected:  April 28, 2022 at 2:30 PM

Point of Origin Location:  T16S, R11W, NENE Section 10

General location:  3 miles east of the Wilderness Ranger Station and 6 miles north of Mimbres, NM

Cause:  Under investigation

Current size:  765 acres

Containment:  30%

Fuels:  Piñon juniper and grass

Fire Behavior:  Moderate fire behavior with isolated torching and backing

Highlights: Firefighting resources include 6 Engines, 3 Helicopters, 2 Crews and 1 Task Force. A total of 113 personnel are assigned. Air Tankers are strategically staged at Air Tanker bases throughout the country during peak wildfire season. They are currently supporting numerous active wildfires in the NM/AZ region.

Today, firefighters will advance their efforts on fireline construction by extending and /or reinforcing the existing firelines. Accessibility is challenging due to limited road access, however one existing two-track road is being utilized as a containment line along the western edge of the fire. The east side of the fire is in very steep, rocky terrain with spotty vegetation that has been burned. These existing features are also contributing to the increased containment of the fire.

Weather: An upper-level storm system is expected to bring strong, gusty winds to the area. Critical fire weather conditions are forecast for Sunday through Tuesday. Relative humidity remains very low during the day, but some nighttime recovery is helping to moderate fire behavior.

Aerial view of Water Fire

Safety: Please use extreme caution when recreating in the forest. The smallest spark can start a wildfire. Drown campfires with water and stir coals until they are dead out and heat is no longer present. With very low humidity and gusty winds, a new wildfire can grow very quickly.

Summary: The Water Fire started on April 28 at 2:30 p.m. It is located 6 miles north of Mimbres, NM, on the Gila National Forest. Initial response by Air Tankers helped slow the fire’s spread significantly. Due to the success of the combined aerial and ground forces, 30% containment was achieved by Saturday, April30th. Ground forces, including engines and hand crews are focusing their efforts on constructing and reinforcing firelines.

The Gila National Forest is planning to implement Stage 1 Fire Restrictions later this week. 

Loretta Benavidez, Water Fire PIO, 575-323-1533

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