Start Date: May 22, 2018
Cause: Under investigation
Location: NE of Eagle Peak Lookout, Gila NF
Fuels: Timber (litter, grass, and understory)
Total personnel: 490
General Information: The Buzzard Fire became very active yesterday along the southern edge with several runs up ridges and individual tree torching. Critical fire weather is again predicted for the next few days.
Fire Operations: Crews on the west side of the fire are continuing to hold and burnout along control lines as needed. The fire is continuing to back downslope into the wind toward the control lines along this portion. On the east side, in the area of Cox Canyon, the westerly winds increased fire growth and spotting. Crews successfully burned out control lines approximately one mile south to the ridge above Burro Canyon, securing control lines to contain the increase in fire spread. On the northeast portion of the fire, as the fire continues to burn into Wine and Sawmill Canyons, crews are improving control lines and looking for opportunities to build more directly on the fire edge. It is likely that burnout in upper Sawmill Canyon along the Long Canyon Mountains will occur later in the evening and into the night.
Fire Safety Awareness: It continues to be extremely dry all over the southwest region, and people should use extreme caution in their use of fire or machinery and ensure tow safety chains are not dragging. In the vicinity of the Buzzard Fire, people should remain alert for heavy fire traffic as equipment and personnel will be travelling the roadways. For information on current fire restrictions, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/gila/alerts-notices/?aid=46143.
Fire Weather: High temperatures and low humidity with gusty afternoon winds are anticipated the rest of the week, which will result in critical fire conditions.
Closures: The area around the fire remains closed for public safety. Roadblocks have been set up by local law enforcement. In support of this closure, the Continental Divide Trail has been rerouted around the fire closures. The trail reroute map is available at https://bit.ly/2GRESFw. More closure information is available at https://bit.ly/2LvwKhN .
Smoke Situation: The smoke plume is expected to drift to the east early in the day, then swing a bit to the east-northeast midafternoon, affecting the Very Large Array and Magdalena, then Socorro north to Acacia in the evening. Late night and early morning “drainage” smoke will continue in Reserve, Frisco, and the ranch lands south and east of the fire. Although levels are not expected to be high, smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. For more information on air quality and health impacts due to wildfire smoke, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health website at https://nmtracking.org/fire .
Note: The smoke monitor in Reserve has been moved to a lower elevation that is more representative of the general area. An additional smoke monitor has been deployed in Magdalena. For real-time smoke concentration data, please see https://tools.airfire.org/monitoring/v4 .
Fire Information Links: Fire information can be found at nmfireinfo.com and https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5814/ .
For information on the Gila National Forest, please visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila .
Fire Information: (602) 529-5924 (8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.)