Rain falls over the Black Fire, New Mexico Highway 152 reopens

June 18, 2022 Daily Update

Acres: 324,909 acres

Containment: 58%

Total Personnel: 1,300

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: Rainfall amounts are varying throughout the fire. In areas where ground soil is dry, the moisture is evaporating quickly. In other parts of the fire, heavier rains may cause erosion, flash floods, and debris flows down hillsides and onto roads.

New Mexico Highway 152 is now open from milepost 40 (Kingston) to milepost 15 (San Lorenzo). Please continue to use caution in the area and be mindful of increased fire traffic.

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: Additional containment has been added to the fire near Round Mountain and Las Animas Creek. Firefighters continue to monitor the slopover near Bloodgood Place, although this portion of the fire has not advanced in several days. The fire continues to slowly progress to the south through the Aldo Leopold Wilderness and 2013 Silver Fire burned area. In the northwest corner of the fire, firefighters located and extinguished two small hotspots detected using infrared imagery from an Unstaffed Aircraft System. Within Kingston and the North Percha Creek area, firefighters are removing vegetation, chipping brush and tree limbs, and testing sprinkler systems. Overall, increased humidity levels are helping to slow the fire activity in the south. With the increased moisture, conditions have been favorable for crews to slowly apply fire on the southwest corner. By igniting low intensity fire on the east side of Forest Road 4080, firefighters are removing vegetation before the main fire advances west toward this road. Removing this vegetation prevents the main fire from gaining enough intensity to potentially cross this road.

Weather: Plentiful moisture will lead to showers and thunderstorms into early next week. Heavy rainfall from these thunderstorms may result in flash flooding in and around the burn scar. Increasing cloud cover, cooler daytime temperatures, and higher humidity levels are expected into early next week.  

Closures: A portion of the Gila National Forest affected by the Black Fire has been temporarily 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: https://uas.nifc.gov/.

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: nmtracking.org. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ 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: 2022.black@firenet.gov • Phone: (575)-249-1264 • Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

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