SILVER CITY, NM; May 12, 2014 8:30 p.m. – The Signal Fire north of Silver City is now estimated at 4,700 acres. Although fire activity was significantly less than Sunday, it continued to spread north and east, making short uphill runs. Several air tankers, including a DC-10, known as a Very Large Air Tanker (LAT), supported firefighters on the ground by dropping numerous loads of retardant on the perimeter of the fire. Tomorrow, crews will construct direct fireline along the northern perimeter and the Meadow Creek road, and secure fireline to the Signal Peak Lookout.
The Big Tree Trailhead near the Forest Service Administration Site in Fort Bayard will be closed due to the Incident Command Post being established in the area, and to reduce traffic congestion for firefighters.
The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument remains open, and can be accessed from NM Hwy 35. Businesses in Pinos Altos are open.
Organizations and cooperators assisting with the fire include: Pinos Altos Fire Dept., Grant County Sheriff's Office, NM State Police, NM Dept. of Transportation, Sapillo Fire Dept., and the Town of Silver City.
Start Date: May 11, 2014
Location: 10 miles north of Silver City near Signal Peak, Silver City Ranger District, Gila National Forest
Cause: Human-caused, investigation ongoing
Fuels: Mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, grass understory
Size: 4700 acres
Resources Committed: 507 personnel
Closures: Highway 15 from Ben Lilly Monument to Highway 35. Big Tree Trailhead and the fire vicinity.