Very dry weather conditions test the Black Fire

June 15, 2022 Daily Update




Acres: 317,676 acres          

Containment: 48%

Total Personnel: 1,098       

Cause: Human-caused, under investigation

Start Date: Friday, May 13, 2022

Location: 31 miles NW of Truth or Consequences, NM

Fuels: Timber and tall grass

Highlights: Firefighters are working in very dry weather conditions throughout the day and night to fully suppress the Black Fire. The weather is expected to shift later this week as thunderstorms bring moisture into the fire area.

To learn about the current evacuation status for the Black Fire, please access the real-time, interactive evacuation map or contact your local emergency management office for Sierra County, Catron County, and Grant County.

Operations: Due to high winds and topography, the fire advanced toward the southeast in the Sids Prong and Holden Prong area. Near BloodGood Place, firefighters successfully contained a 40-acre “slopover” where the fire crossed over an existing dozer line. Firefighters continue suppression activities near Seco Creek, Round Mountain, and Animas Creek. Crews are preparing to protect structures in Kingston by installing sprinklers, removing excess vegetation, and using specialized equipment called “chippers” to break down cut vegetation into small wood chips. Further east, firefighters are completing structure assessments in Hillsboro. In the southwest corner of the fire area, firefighters are building control lines using hand tools and bulldozers while helicopters drop water on the fire. Water drops help to delay fire spread and cool the temperature of the fire, giving firefighters more time to safely work along the fire’s edge. Aviation resources are monitoring the northern part of the fire by air as these containment lines have held for multiple days. Firefighters who rappelled into the fire area by helicopter have completed their task of extinguishing hot spots around Lookout Mountain. During the night shift, firefighters are using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to obtain infrared information, conduct reconnaissance missions, and complete aerial ignitions to remove fuels to slow the progression of the fire, as needed.

Weather: Dry conditions, hot temperatures, low humidity, and gusty winds will occur today. Enough moisture moves back into the area on Thursday afternoon for a chance of dry thunderstorms. The forecast predicts increasing thunderstorms chances through the weekend as the storms transition from dry to more wet. Expect breezy east-southeast winds Thursday through Saturday.

Closures: Highway 152 is currently closed from milepost 40 (Kingston) to milepost 15 (San Lorenzo). No public entry is allowed. A portion of the Gila National Forest affected by the fire has been closed.

Restrictions: Know Before You Go! The public can obtain current state and federal fire restriction information across New Mexico at NM Fire Info | Fire Restrictions or NM Forestry Division state-wide fire restrictions.

Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public is always the top priority. Members of the public should stay away from Black Fire operations. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Black Fire area, which includes unmanned aircraft, or drones. More information on the dangers drones pose to wildland firefighting aircraft and personnel on the ground can be found at:

Smoke: Smoke from the Black Fire may be visible in the surrounding areas of Mimbres, Kingston, Hillsboro, and San Lorenzo, NM. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health Environmental Public Health Tracking website: An interactive smoke map at allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions. For additional information, please view the Black Fire Smoke Report.

Fire updates are posted on InciWeb, the Gila National Forest Facebook and Twitter pages, and NM Fire Information.

Email:  Phone: (575)-249-1264 Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Black Fire Daily Map, Wednesday, June 15
Black Fire Evacuation Map, Wednesday, June 15
Latest Black Fire Progression map, June 15
Smoke Outlook, Wednesday, June 15

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