Flooding closes Catwalk and hinders Silver Fire rehab.

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As of Friday, the Catwalk National Recreation Area, Gila National Forest, located 5 miles northeast of the Community of Glenwood is temporarily CLOSED due to flooding over the two low water crossings along New Mexico State Highway 174 that accesses the area. The recreation area has been opened and closed intermittently during the last month due to the fires and their impacts. Officials say they may be able to re-open the facility when the rains subside.

The Silver Fire, which started June 7 near Kingston due to lightning, is 85 percent contained. Incident Commander Jon Agner of the Type 3 Incident Management Team transitioned command of the Silver Fire to the Wilderness Ranger District Friday morning. The ICT4 (Incident Commander Type 4) shadowed the ICT3 on Thursday and will continue rehabilitation and monitoring. Flash flooding is now the main hazard for crews working on and around the fire scar. The fire has burned over 138.000 acres.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) may continue to temporarily close NM 152 east of Silver City when flood waters exist; at this time, NM 152 is open. Anyone traveling the area, please take precaution with the threat of flash flooding, debris, or rocks/boulders on the road. If possible, select an alternate route as road conditions may change at a moment’s notice.

Traffic notifications will be posted on www.nmroads.com, and can be retrieved by calling 511 in state, and 1-800-432-4269 out of state. Forest Road New Mexico 159 (Bursum Road) has been closed by NMDOT due to flooding.

There are currently no fire or smoking restrictions on the Gila National Forest. Please contact Sharma Hutchinson for further information: (575) 533-6231