Weather shifting on Silver Fire – 5 percent contained

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SAN LORENZO
Favorable weather conditions on Sunday made it possible for firefighters to make headway in the fight against the Silver Fire, which started southwest of Kingston, NM on June 7. The fire is now five percent contained along New Mexico Highway 152. Total acreage stands at 23,200.

Unfortunately, the weather is transitioning from a mild moist air mass that has been over the area for several days and will be replaced with hot dry air, strong winds and low humidity starting Monday, according to a press release issued by the Northern Arizona Incident Management Team.

Sunday’s favorable weather conditions allowed firefighters to make progress on construction of 3 miles of containment line. The now 23,000 acre fire gained by approximately 400 acres over the weekend, but gained more than 1,400 acres between 8:30 and 10:30 Monday morning.

There are now 621 firefighters working the fire including five helicopters, ten 20-person hotshot crews, five 20-person hand crews, sixteen engines, two dozers and eleven water tenders. A Burned Area Emergency Response team is scheduled to arrive Tuesday.

BAER teams are staffed by specially trained professionals and scientists who rapidly evaluate the burned area and prescribe emergency stabilization treatments. Several other agencies are assisting with the Silver Fire, including the Grant and Sierra County Sheriff’s Departments, State Police, Las Cruces BLM District, New Mexido State Forestry and the Department of Transportation.

To ensure public safety, the Aldo Leopold Wilderness has been closed east of New Mexico Highway 152 from the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail No. 74 south to Reeds Peak. NM State Highway 152 from San Lorenzo to Hillsboro remains closed. The road closure is for east and westbound traffic from 35 miles east of Bayard at mile marker 16 to 10 miles west of Hillsboro at mile marker 40. Trail No. 79 and the Royal John Mine Road are also closed for public safety. For more information see http://fs.usda.gov/gila or www.nmroads.com.

Daily public meetings continue to be held each morning at the Hillsboro Community Center at 10 a.m.

The Pratt Fire, located in the Gila and detected on June 13, has been contained. The fire was located approximately 12 miles northwest of Luna, New Mexico. Engine resources worked on the fire into the night on Thursday and mopped up any interior heat on Friday, June 14. The fire was contained Friday at 2 acres; 15 personnel are assigned to the fire.

Sign Camp Fire, also located in the Gila was detected June 14 and located approximately 10 miles south of Reserve, New Mexico. Engine resources and Type 3 Helicopter responded to the lightning ignition the same day and completed line. Mop up efforts continued on Saturday and is contained. The fire is currently 1 acre. 10 personnel are assigned to the fire.
Gila National Forest officials want to remind the general public that the forest is open except in the restricted fire area.

Silver Fire updates can be found on Inciweb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3414. For additional fire information visit the following websites: www.facebook.com/SilverFireNM, www.flickr.com/gilaforest, www.twitter.com/SilverFireNM.