You are here: HomeNewsFront Page News ArticlesRe-Opening of Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness Fire Areas and Other Areas of the Gila National Forest

Re-Opening of Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness Fire Areas and Other Areas of the Gila National Forest

Silver City, NM; August 6, 2013—The Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas and other areas of the Gila National Forest will re-open on August 9, 2013, at 6:00 a.m. Wildfire activity in 2012 plus after-fire effects such as flooding, burned hazard trees, and soil erosion had caused the temporary closure of trails in the Gila Wilderness. As Silver Fire activity progressed on the Aldo Leopold this summer, the entire wilderness was also closed.

"I am pleased to announce that these previously closed areas will soon be open for recreationists and hunters alike. When visiting these burned areas, visitors are asked to be alert and to use extreme caution especially when rain is forecast as flooding and flashfloods can easily occur. Camping is not advised near rivers, creeks, arroyos, or in flood plains located within or adjacent to burned areas due to flood potential," says Forest Supervisor Kelly Russell.

In a burned area, fires weaken and kill trees. They can easily fall from weakened root systems with only a slight breeze. Rolling rocks are a hazard as rain or snowmelt loosens soil and vegetation that may be holding them along the upper slopes. Lack of vegetation also contributes to high runoffs from rain or snowmelt so flooding can happen at any time with just a little rain, even if the rain occurs far upstream. Tree roots and stumps can be dangerous as the only evidence may be a thick layer of ash or soil. Unsuspecting visitors can step on one and end up with their foot and leg in a deep hole.

Forest trails have not been maintained in many cases within the burned areas so they may be impassable due to fallen trees or rocks, or from being washed out and hard to locate. Snags (standing dead trees) will likely be found along many trails.

With the re-opening of closed areas, some trails, campgrounds, and Forest Roads remain temporarily closed due primarily to effects from flooding. These closures include:
• Kingston, Lower Gallinas, and Iron Creek Campgrounds along NM Highway 152
• Willow Creek, Gilita, Ben Lilly, and South Fork Negrito Campgrounds on the Reserve Ranger District
• Forest roads closed to vehicle traffic include Silver Creek Road # 523; Middle Percha Road #40E; and Quaking Aspen Road #537
• Forest trails: Silver Creek #146; Spring Canyon #721, Mimbres River #77 & 78
• Portions of the Catwalk National Recreation Trail

Check with the local Ranger District office for current information on all areas.

As soon as the N.M. Department of Transportation (NMDOT) finishes needed maintenance work along NM 152, it will be re-opened. Bursum Road remains closed as NMDOT is finishing work on it as well.

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

Please say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the Grant County Beat on Sept. 4! We're five years old!

Thanks for being a Beat reader!

The Beat thanks all of you who have become friends of the Beat by sponsoring pages.

We have added a new category under Sponsors on the menu—Local businesses. You and your business can benefit from the exposure by contacting the Beat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Someone will contact you for an interview and to take photos. The cost for the sponsorship is $100, and you can continue the relationship by advertising your business for a longer term. The longer the term, the better the discount you receive.

The Beat is now posting legal notices for area governmental agencies. Check under the menu item Community to find Legals for what's happening in the area in the way of meetings and other legal notices.

You may have noticed a blue button on the upper left side of most pages. It says Sponsor GCBTo help defray ever-increasing costs of the Beat and to prevent the requirement for paid subscriptions, the Beat is asking you to choose an amount you want to pay on a one-time or regular basis to SPONSOR a page or feature that you rely on. 

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Comics are now available. As the editor, I chose my favorites first--B.C. and Wizard of Id. The Beat is seeking sponsors for these comics and for your favorites, too. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for rates. 

Check Out Classifieds.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat.

Post YOURS for quick results!

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com.

Go to top