SILVER CITY, NM. – Fire behavior decreased overnight as a result of higher humidity and cooler temperatures from thunderstorms passing to the south of the fire. The Silver Fire has grown to 18,800 acres and is zero percent contained. Storms remain in the area today bringing gusty, erratic winds with the possibility of dry lightning further challenging firefighting efforts. As a result, expect the fire to remain active.
Winds today will be predominantly out of the southeast which will push smoke into the Mimbres Valley including the Royal John Mine area. Smoke may also be visible from Hillsboro and surrounding communities.
Public meetings are scheduled for Mimbres Valley and Silver City. The Mimbres meeting will be at 6 p.m. Friday at the Roundup Lodge on Acklin Hill Road in San Lorenzo. The Silver City meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Grant County Administration Building, located at 1400 U.S. Highway 180 East in Silver City. Additional public information meetings are being held each morning at the Hillsboro Community Center at 10 a.m.
To ensure public safety, the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Area has been closed east of NM State Highway 152 from the Continental Divide Trail #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 #79 and the Royal John Road are also closed for public safety. For more information see http://fs.usda.gov/gila or www.nmroads.com.
Although these closures are in place, the rest of the Gila National Forest remains open for recreation.
Although there are other fires burning in New Mexico and Colorado, the Northern Arizona Incident Management Team has adequate firefighting resources on hand to conduct suppression activities according to their plan.