New Fires Start in Gila – fire danger level lowered

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The Gila National Forest has gone from high fire danger down to moderate fire danger due to the precipitation and slight temperature drop across the forest the last few days. Lightning has also come with the storms and has ignited numerous fires, listed below.

Summer rains have arrived on the forest and with the rain, the Gila National Forest staff has issued safety precautions concerning the potential for flash floods and flooding. For more information on those precautions, visit the Turn Around, Don’t Drown website http://tadd.weather.gov/, or call the Reserve Ranger District at 575-533-6231.

Fire restrictions are still in place for camping and day use. Fires are only allowed in a designated campground and using the metal fire rings for campfires. Campfires should be completely extinguish before departure, and never left unattended.

Seven starts have been reported on the District today, all of which are ¼ acre or smaller. Since July 1, we have had 14 new starts, five have been contained, and 2 have been undetected since being called in. Fire personnel are suppressing those that are still visible from yesterday and locating new starts from today. The concentration of new starts are in the area south and east of Eagle Peak Lookout. 45 personnel are locating and staffing the reported fires.

Southfork Campgrounds are temporarily closed due to potential flash flooding. Apache Creek, Dipping Vat and Aeroplane Mesa Campgrounds remain open. Call the Black Range Ranger District for information at 575-894-6677.

One new start was detected north and west of Black Mountain but has not been located.

The Kennedy Fire is at six and a half acres, and the Spring Fire at one quarter acre. Contact the Quemado Ranger District at 575-773-4678 for further information.

Three fires were reported on the forest today, all which are less that one quarter of an acre. They are the Deadhorse Fire, the Manges Fire, and the Left Hand Fire. The Ruyle Fire and Antelope Fire have been called controlled. For more information about these, please call the Glenwood Ranger District at 575-539-2481. The Holt Fire is contained.

Fire and Smoking Restrictions: The Gila National Forest is in stage 1 fire restrictions. To learn more about what this means, visit http://firerestrictions.us/nm/. Fire restrictions for the Gila National Forest include allowing campfires only in designated developed campgrounds and picnic areas, which must be in a Forest Service provided grill or fire pit.

Fires in rock rings will not be allowed. The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices are acceptable, provided they meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety. Smoking is limited to a vehicle, building, or 3-foot area cleared of all flammable materials.

Please contact Sharma Hutchinson if you have any questions or concerns at 575-533-6231.