Friday, June 11, 2021
Visit the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com
Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7493/
Fire Phone 575-519-0103

JOHNSON FIRE
Location: Johnson Canyon, west of McKenna Park. 11 miles west of Gila Cliff Dwellings, Wilderness Ranger District, Catron County, NM

Start Date: May 20, 2021 Size: ~ 50,384 Cause: Lightning
Vegetation: Ponderosa Pine and Grass Total Personnel: 134 Containment: 11%

RESOURCES: Two Interagency Hotshot Crews, one twelve-person hand crew, one ten-person Wildfire Module, three Type 3 Engines, two Type 6 Engines, four Water Tenders, and two Type 3 Helicopters which includes short haul medical equipment.

SUMMARY: The Johnson Fire is approximately 50,384 acres and is burning in the Gila Wilderness on the Gila National Forest. The acreage is the most accurate information taken from an infrared (IR) flight on Thursday evening. The suppression strategy for this fire is confine and contain. In the evening hours the fire will appear both larger and closer than it is due to the inability to reference its size to any physical landmarks. Yesterday, the fire was active with uphill runs in Sycamore and Bush Canyons. Growth occurred in the northwest corner as the fire moved into Trail and Corral Canyons. Firefighters continued burn-out operations along Granny Mountain Trail #160 tying the fireline to Miller Springs Cabin. As the fire moved toward the West Fork of the Gila River, between Nat Straw and White Rocks Canyons, firefighters burned out small areas to connect the edge of the fire to control lines. The Tepee Fire displayed no significant growth. Today, burn-out operations will continue along Granny Mountain Trail north toward the Good Fire scar. Crews will patrol the eastern portion of the fire in the White Rocks Canyon area while the southern and western perimeters will be patrolled by aircraft.

INCIDENT OBJECTIVES:

Provide for public and firefighter safety and allow fire to play its natural role on the landscape. Utilize Minimum Impact Suppression Techniques. Ensure information is accurate and timely regarding closures and planned fire operations. Values at risk are Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, White Creek Cabin, and sensitive aquatic species in the Gila Wilderness.

FIRE BEHAVIOR: Moderate fire activity, with creeping, backing, and scattered torching.

CLOSURES: Due to hazardous fire conditions in the Johnson Fire area, an Emergency Area Closure order has been issued by the Gila National Forest for public health and safety. A large portion of the Gila Wilderness is CLOSED. For a copy of the order and maps see: Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7493/ The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument remains CLOSED, and the closure shall remain in effect until rescinded. The Cliff Dwellings is closed while fire managers prepare for a burn-out operation for the Johnson Fire. Light Feather and Jordan Hot Springs, along with the Middle Fork Trailhead, are also included in this closure. For further information call 575-536-2250 (M-F 8:00 – 4:00 p.m.) or 575-519-0103 (any time before 7:00 p.m.) As a reminder "The Celebration Site-Skates area," Johnson Fire Camp is closed to camping.

WEATHER: Sunny with patchy smoke early in the morning. Chance of precipitation 0%, northwest winds 9 to 14 mph gusting to 28 mph in the afternoon. Minimum relative humidity 5 to 6%.

AIR QUALITY: Mimbres, Silver City and Cliff, NM are expected to experience "Good" air quality today. The Gila Cliff Dwellings and Glenwood, NM will see poor smoke dispersal in the morning and are expected to stay in the "Moderate" level throughout the day. Most of the smoke impacting Glenwood is coming from wildfires in Arizona. Smoke from the Johnson Fire will be visible from NM Highway 15, NM Hwy 35, and US Highway 180. Smoke monitors have been placed at the Wilderness Ranger District-Mimbres (Unit #1073), Gila Center (Unit #1076), Silver City, NM (Unit #1074), Cliff, NM (Unit #1054) and Glenwood, NM (Unit #1075), to assess smoke impacts, and can be viewed at https://app.airsis.com/USFS/UnitMap.

Please see the New Mexico Department of Health site also known as 5-3-1, https://nmtracking.org/fire for guidance on mitigating your smoke exposure. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures by staying inside during heavy smoke periods and avoiding outdoor activities.



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