Public meeting called as Silver Fire moves toward Winston By Susann Mikkelson

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New management and additional crews continue to combat steep, rugged terrain to battle the Silver Fire 18 days after it started by lightning near Kingston on June 7. The fire remains at 20 percent containment. Management of the fire has been transferred to the New Mexico Type 2 Incident Management Team under Incident Commander John Pierson. The fire was being managed by Matt Reidy’s Northern Arizona Incident Management Team until Monday evening.

There will be a public meeting at 6 p.m. on June 26 in Winston, at the community center. There are currently no evacuations in effect. The fire is approximately 5 miles west of Hermosa and 19 miles southwest Winston. Firefighters are planning to do structure protection in Hermosa and Cooney.

Crews are constructing fire line in the northwest portion of the fire and continue to conduct burnout operations on the west flank off of McKnight Road as weather conditions allow on Tuesday. Fire personnel will scout out for placement of indirect line on the east and west flank of the Silver Fire. The fire behavior analyst for the NM Incident Management Team said that firefighters can expect significant fire activity today as weather conditions will be hot, dry and unstable. As a result, tall smoke columns are likely to develop. The fuels in the fire area are critically dry and the potential for ignition in the afternoon is 100 percent.

Smoke: The most significant smoke impacts from the Silver Fire will be areas to the east including Kingston, Hillsboro and possibly as far as Hermosa, Winston, Chloride, and Truth Or Consequences. Information on wildland fire smoke and your health can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire. New Mexico Highway 152 is closed from Kingston to San Lorenzo. For additional information go to www.nmroads.com. Forest closure information can be found at http://fs.usda.gov/gila. For additional fire information, visit the following websites: www.facebook.com/SilverFireNM www.flickr.com/gilaforest, www.twitter.com/SilverFireNM.