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Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire Update

on May 27, 2012 - 8:40pm

NEW MEXICO STATE FORESTRY News:

Fire Facts:

Date Started: 05/16/2012Number of Personnel: 907 personnel including
Location: Approximately 15 miles E of Glenwood, NM11 hotshot crews, 10 hand crews
Cause: LightningEquipment: 39 Engines, 19 Water Tenders, 6 Dozers
Size: 122,388Aircraft: 5 Helicopters
Percent Contained: 0Injuries to Date: Five

Special Announcement The Gila National Forest has reported a new fire approximately 15 miles northeast of Reserve near Aragon, N.M.

Fire crews and helicopters are providing assistance with initial attack efforts on the Wagon Tongue Fire.

For more information on this fire, contact the Reserve Ranger District at 1-575-533-6232.  

General Information/Announcements: Yesterday afternoon the Gila National Forest closed the Catwalk National Recreation Trail until further notice. 

Please visit the Gila National Forest Website at www.fs.usda.gov/gilafor further details on this closure.  

Approximately 95 percent of the perimeter experienced active burning, creating a heavy smoke plume.

There was no major movement or growth on the fire due to lighter winds. Less extreme fire activity aided firefighter’s efforts to prep and strengthen fire lines.

The spread of this fire continues to be slowed in some areas because it is moving through parts of the forest where there were previous prescribed burns.    

Fire crews that were providing structure protection in the Willow Creek area had to contend with several flare ups that posed a short-term threat to the community.

The area remains susceptible to flare ups due to residual heat and heavy fuels.  

Despite forecasted lighter winds, the potential for extreme fire behavior will continue in areas where fuels are extremely dry and very susceptible to burn.    

Closures/Advisories: Forest Road 141 is now closed from the Sawmill in Lower San Francisco east through to Turkey Track. Forest Road 28 is closed starting at Collins Park. State Route 59 is closed at its end where it turns into FS 142. State Route 159 is closed starting at the base of Whitewater Mesa. Forest Road 533 is closed at FS 141.

Before a wildfire approaches your home, evacuate your pets and all family members who are not essential to preparing the home. Anyone with medical or physical limitations and the young and elderly should be evacuated immediately.

Remember the “P’s of Evacuation,” People, Pets, Prescriptions, Papers, Pictures and Personal Computer. 

Refer to www.wildlandfirersg.organd www.nmfireinfo.comfor additional information on emergency evacuations.  

Results of Today’s Planned Activities: Crews continued to make good progress with prep work along Forest Road 141, where they cleared low vegetation and successfully conducted burnout operations to reinforce containment lines.

These burnouts were low to moderate in intensity in preparation for larger scale burnout operations that will occur to prevent further forward movement of the northern portion of the fire, keeping it south of FR 141.    

Fire crews continued to work in and around the community of Mogollon reinforcing fire lines and improving structure protection.

The southwest edge of the fire continues to slowly back down the mountain toward the forest boundary.

Today, crews provided structure protection to ranches and homes at the base of the mountains north of Buckhorn.      

Visit http://fs.usda.gov/gila, www.nmfireinfo.com or www.inciweb.org for information on the fire.

  • Incident Name: Whitewater-Baldy Complex
  • Start Date & Time: May 16
  • Start Location: Gila Wilderness on the Gila National Forest
  • Cause of Fire: Lightning
  • Area Vegetation: Mixed conifer, Ponderosa pine, etc.
  • Acres Burned: 122,388
  • Containment: 0 percent
  • Ownership(s): USDA Forest Service/private
  • Structures Threatened: yes
  • Structures Burned: 12 homes and 13 outbuildings 
  • Evacuations (Y or N & #): Yes - the communities of Willow Creek and Mogollon
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