Start Date: May 22, 2018
Location: NE of Eagle Peak Lookout, Gila NF
Fuels: Timber (litter, grass, and understory)
Total personnel: 520
General Information: Wildfire investigators have been on the scene of the fire for several days. Through field reconnaissance and interviews with the firefighters and air attack personnel, the investigators were able to determine the general origin area of the fire. The wildfire investigators have determined that an illegal abandoned campfire caused the Buzzard Fire.
Fire Operations: On the western portion of the fire, crews continued burning out control lines to keep up with the main fire as it nears Eagle Peak. Near Cox Canyon, crews are successfully burning out control lines as the main fire is burning around Buzzard Peak near private ranches. Weather conditions were hotter and drier throughout the night, allowing for active fire spread. Crews on the northeastern portion of the fire worked through the night burning out control lines in upper Sawmill Canyon, continuing north toward the Long Canyon road. This slow moving burnout has produced several spot fires across the control lines. All spot fires have been contained and crews will be in a holding mode throughout the day. Fire spread has also crossed over the main ridge of Long Canyon Mountains near the Continental Divide Trail and is backing downslope into the Moraga Canyon. Although this fire is burning within the primary control lines, aerial retardant was used yesterday to slow the fire spread, allowing more time for the crews to finish the burnout in Sawmill Canyon.
Fire Safety Awareness: Under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, campfires are only allowed within a Forest Service developed recreation or improved site in a Forest Service provided grill or stove. When it’s time to extinguish your fire, allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible. Drown the fire with water until all embers are out and any hissing sounds have stopped. Stir the fire and continue to add water, dirt or sand until the ashes are cold to the touch. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave. For information on current fire restrictions, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/gila/alerts-notices/?aid=46143 .
Fire Weather: The incident meteorologist has declared a Red Flag Warning over the fire area. Weather conditions will be warmer and drier, with strong winds from the southwest. Winds could easily gust 30-35 miles per hour on exposed ridges and unsheltered areas.
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: Late night and early morning “drainage” smoke will continue in Reserve, Frisco, and the ranch lands south and east of the fire. The smoke plume is expected to move from east to northeast this afternoon under stronger winds than the past couple days. Areas east of the fire, including Datil, Magdalena, Albuquerque, Socorro and Truth or Consequences may see a moderate increase in smoke impacts late this afternoon into this evening. While 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. Smoke concentration data is available at: 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
Office Hours: 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.