The Oak Fire was ignited by lightning on June 17, 2014 in the Galiuro Mountains in eastern Arizona. It is located on the Safford Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest, burning in the general vicinity of China Peak.

The fire is being managed for multiple objectives within a defined planning area mostly within the Galiuros wilderness area. The planning area includes Rattlesnake Canyon on the west and southwest sides, High Creek on the southeast side with the Forest boundary on the east and north sides.

- Provide for public, firefighter and aviation safety.
- Contain fire within the National Forest boundary.
- Manage this natural ignition fire to improve wildlife habitat and forage; improve rangeland conditions; watershed conditions; improve forest health.
- Minimize fire severity impacts to threatened and endangered species habitat (i.e. Chiricahua leopard frog, Mexican spotted owl). Try to maintain buffer zones to trap sediment.
- Utilize Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST) when conducting fire management operations in the Wilderness.

Resources Assigned:
- Wildland Fire Module (skilled 8 person hand crew)
- Engines: 7 assigned
- 5 hotshot crews
- 2 Type 2 hand crews
- Helicopters: 4
- Air Attack Platform
- Single engine air tankers available, used as needed
Closures: A temporary closure of the area of the fire is being put into effect for safety purposes. The closed area begins at Bottle Canyon to Power's Hill; Rattlesnake Creek, south and east to Holdout Spring; along the East Divide Trail and Paddy's River to the Forest Boundary; all enclosed by the Forest Boundary to the east and north as illustrated on the closure map. This area is located in T08S, T09S, and T10S, R19 and 20E.

Basic Information
Current as of June 29, 2014 at 2:08:52 PM MDT

Incident Type Wildfire

Cause Lightning

Date of Origin Tuesday June 17th, 2014 approx. 05:45 PM

Location Approximately 34 miles NW of Wilcox, AZ

Incident Commander Scott Glaspie

Incident Description Lightning-caused Fire Is Being Managed For Multiple Objectives

Current Situation

Total Personnel 224

Size 10,717 Acres

Percent of Perimeter Contained 5%

Fuels Involved
Mostly pinyon/oak with a high amount of manzainta understory at the higher elevations. Also in ponderosa pine, mainly in drainages. Grass and scattered pinyon-juniper at lower elevations.

Planned Actions
Crews will utilize lighting patterns to minimize fire severity and provide for backing fire where possible. Backing fire is fire which burns backing down from higher to lower elevations. It generally burns at a lower intensity and rate of spread than fire burning uphill. By utilizing backing fire crews achieve the benefits of fire consuming excess fuel at a low level of intensity, with minimal negative impacts to watersheds and mature vegetation.

Crews will continue to assess and prepare (remove excess live and dead vegetation) holding features on the east side of the fire, continue to hold and secure the line on the north side, and scout for possible containment and check lines to the north/west and improve access in that area.

They will continue to thin/prepare and wrap historic structures with fire resistant material on the west side in Rattlesnake Canyon and at Shootout Cabin. Crews will mop-up and secure containment lines on the north and east portion of the fire near Deer Creek and Deer Creek Ranch.
Crews will apply fire (burning out and/or dropping "ping pong balls" from a helicopter) to place fire on the landscape in preplanned areas as needed to limit fire activity and severity.

To date crews have constructed over 15 miles of fire line, improved 4 miles of road, and conducted several burnouts. The fire is expected to stay active until a monsoonal weather pattern settles into the area.

Projected Incident Activity
The fire is expected to continue to grow to the south and west in the Rattlesnake Creek, Corral Canyon and Paddy's River areas.
The fire will continue to be active with short intermittent uphill runs. Some of the activity will be intense for short periods of time. Most activity is on the south and west side of the fire. There will be continued preparation and evaluation for containment on the east side.

The fire is being managed within a planning area boundary using strategy and tactics necessary to minimize impacts to sensitive areas and values at risk while maximizing benefits to natural resources. Beneficial effects include removal of fuels, shrubs, snags and decadent grasses. The fire is burning with a mosaic pattern of intensities, with the majority of the area burning at low to moderate intensity.

Current Weather
Weather Concerns
Today: temperature 98 degrees; relative humidity 10%; winds north/west 9 to 14 miles per hour (mph), gusting to 25mph. Tonight: Temperature 61 degrees; relative humidity 46%; winds west 10 to15mph. Continued dry, with possible Haines Index 6 - High by midweek, prior to chance of moisture by Thursday or Friday.

Live from Silver City

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

The Grant County Beat endeavors to post to the Elections page, under News, at the least, notices of candidates for Grant County races. Some candidates for statewide races have also sent their notices. 

The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers!  


All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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.

Note: This is another component that is in progress of going to a different software to make it easier for you to use and find classifieds that interest you. Check Out Classifieds. And look at Sponsors to see who is helping the Beat.

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!

Note that if an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat

When you click on the blue and orange button on the upper left side of most pages, you will find out how you can help the Beat defray its expenses, which, with increased readership, continue to grow. You will arrive at a page that gives you options of how you can Help the Beat. All help is greatly appreciated and keeps the news you want and need coming into your browser.

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