Black Fire crews make strides on suppression repair

June 26, 2022 Daily Update




Acres: 325,133 acres

Containment: 70%

Total Personnel: 319

Cause: Human-caused, under investigation

Start Date: Friday, May 13, 2022

Location: 31 miles northwest of Truth or Consequences, NM

Fuels: Timber and tall grass

Highlights: As part of the multi-phased approach to wildfire recovery, Black Fire crews have been undertaking fire suppression actions to repair 123 miles of hand and dozer lines to minimize potential soil erosion. The next step in repairing the fire area includes the Emergency Stabilization-Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) assessment that identifies actions necessary to stabilize exposed areas across the fire area. BAER efforts are already underway across the fire area.

Operations: Black Fire crews have been seeding exposed areas across the eastern portion of the fire using native grass seed to help stabilize the soil ahead of any increased water runoff. As repairs are completed, equipment and crews are relocating to other areas where remaining work is needed. Roadwork south of the Kingston Work Center has now been completed by the firefighters and inspected by local Resource Advisors. Excavators have been repairing hand and dozer lines located on the western side of the fire near the BloodGood Place. No smoke has been observed from the single burning tree, named the Drummond Fire, or from the Water Canyon area. Crews will continue to monitor both of these areas to ensure no further fire spread. Measurable precipitation is expected to enter the fire area over the next several days. Due to this incoming moisture, the chances for any kind of spreading fire is greatly reduced. The remaining uncontained side of the fire to the south is within a dense area of standing dead trees from the 2013 Silver Fire. These hazardous conditions, along with adverse weather, have prevented firefighters from accessing this area to confirm any additional containment. With a total fire perimeter of approximately 329 miles, firefighters would have to carefully inspect and feel for heat with a bare hand on about 3.29 miles of fire perimeter to add just 1% to the overall containment.

Weather: A healthy pulse of monsoon moisture remains locked in place over Southwestern New Mexico. This makes for a marginally unstable environment which will produce another round of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms over the fire this afternoon and evening. There is some potential for heavy rain and flash flooding. This moist pattern persists into the week ahead, but storm coverage and rain probability will likely trail off, trending to more drier conditions.

Evacuations: All evacuations and evacuation preparedness levels have been lifted for communities in Sierra, Grant, and Catron Counties. The real-time, interactive evacuation map has been revised to reflect this change.

Closures: The Black Fire Emergency Closure remains in effecton National Forest System lands around the Black Fire area. Additional information is available on the Gila National Forest website. Highway 152 remains 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.

Restrictions: The Gila National Forest lifted all fire restrictions on Friday, June 24. The decision to lift Stage II restrictions was based on several factors, including a favorable monsoonal weather forecast, lesser occurrence of human-caused wildfires, and adequate firefighting staffing. 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 has become less visible as rainstorms have moved into the Black Fire area. An interactive smoke map at allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.

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 Update, Sunday, June 26
Black Fire map, Sunday, June 26

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