Flood Watch for flash flooding on the Black Fire

June 20, 2022 Daily Update



Acres: 325,111 acres

Containment: 68%

Total Personnel: 1,016

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: A Flood Watch for flash flooding has been issued from 12:00 PM today through 6:00 AM on Wednesday. This type of Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall. A Flood Watch does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible. Firefighters are closely watching for changes in weather as they continue to complete critical suppression repairs around the fire area.

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: Fire activity has stalled due to the increase in moisture on the fire over the past few days. Some heat and smoke remain in areas with large dead standing trees and downed logs that generally hold heat and burn longer.  Although rains have reduced fire activity, firefighters continue to conduct daily reconnaissance flights to monitor the fire area. As the immediate threat to Kingston has lessened, firefighters are removing hose and sprinklers from this area. Crews are implementing road repairs on the southeast perimeter of the fire near Ladder Ranch and on the western side from Middle Mesa heading north on Highway 61 to Beaverhead Station. Crews are conducting suppression repairs in the North Percha Creek area and west along the Highway 152 corridor toward Highway 35. In a single day, firefighters repaired over seven miles of fireline on the northern end by chipping or scattering brush and other vegetation material. Firefighters are scouting and assessing the Black Fire for additional suppression repair needs including backhaul of equipment, seeding to revegetate cleared areas, and rehabilitation of dozerlines and handlines.

Weather: Deep monsoon moisture will lead to numerous showers and thunderstorms through mid-week, with the potential for heavy rainfall and flash flooding in and around the burn scar. Thunderstorms may bring strong, gusty, and erratic winds. Mostly cloudy skies, cooler temperatures, and higher humidity will occur during this time. Less moisture by the end of the week will result in warmer temperatures, lower humidity, and reduced thunderstorm coverage.

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 has become less visible as rainstorms have moved into the Black Fire area. 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

Black Fire Daily Update, Monday, June 20
Black Fire map, Monday, June 20
Black Fire Evacuation map, Monday, June 20
Black Fire Progression map, Monday, June 20

Smoke Outlook, Monday, June 20

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