Acres: ~4,500 Start Date: June 30, 2018
Cause: Lightning Location: 4 miles northeast of Saddle Mountain, Gila NF
Fuels: Timber (litter, grass and understory) Total Personnel: 219
General Information: The Owl Fire began on June 30, 2018. It is south of Aspen Mountain, near the Flying T trail in an inventoried roadless area (IRA). Heavy fuels will continue to hold heat until substantial rainfall over the area.
Fire Operations: Prep has been completed on Horse Mesa, and crews will monitor and evaluate the need for firing operations as necessary. Some resources have begun mopping up and coordinating efforts to rehab brush and debris caused by prep work. Air resources are assigned to the incident.
Fire Behavior: Fire behavior has been low to moderate, with single tree torching. Fire spread is primarily to the north and east, and visible from Alma, NM, along the US Hwy 180 corridor through Luna, NM. Smoke may also be visible in Alpine, AZ and Rancho Grande Subdivision.
Weather: Increased storm chances and potential for scattered storms with rapid runoff and strong downburst winds. The fire has received some precipitation which has aided in fire suppression efforts.
Smoke: Smoke settles in drainages and washes and begins drifting about 9:00 p.m. and peaking at 6:00 a.m., when they become unhealthy for sensitive groups. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures such as leaving windows closed. 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 .
Fire Safety/Closures: Forest Order 06-18-011 Owl Fire Temporary Area Closure is effective as of July 7. The Gila NF is in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. Fire Danger is still rated as VERY HIGH.