Weather delays suppression repair on the Black Fire   

June 23, 2022 Daily Update 

Acres: 325,133 acres 
Containment: 68% 
Total Personnel: 640 
Cause: Human-caused, under investigation 
Start Date: Friday, May 13, 2022 
Location: 31 miles northwest of Truth or Consequences, NM 
Fuels: Timber and tall grass 

Highlights: Fire suppression repair has been hindered by significant rainfall received over the past three days. Standing water has been observed along the fire boundary with many drainages and waterways running from the storms in the interior canyons, including Las Palomas, Animas, and Percha Creek.  

The Black Fire Emergency Closure remains in effect on National Forest System lands around the Black Fire area. Additional information is available at:

New Mexico Highway 152 is now open from milepost 40 (Kingston) to milepost 15 (San Lorenzo). Please continue to use caution in the area and be mindful of increased fire traffic.  

Operations: Due to excessive rain received over the fire, roads into Hermosa on the eastern fire perimeter are being assessed to determine if repair crews can safely access this area. On the north side, firefighters are backhauling portable water tanks called "pumpkins," and cutting branches in small lengths before scattering them evenly over the ground. In order to backhaul equipment from the South Fork Lodge, crews may use a helicopter to retrieve this firefighting equipment and supplies prior to the arrival of more rains. Crews are repairing handlines with the assistance of an excavator along the switchbacks on Highway 152. Due to hazardous and muddy conditions created by the rain, fire crews have been unable to access handlines on the southern side of the fire. Scouting continues in this area to evaluate repair needs for chipping and scattering. Hand and dozer lines have been repaired on the southwestern side of the fire which received a substantial amount of rain after several days of storms bypassing this area. After the storms, a hotshot crew responded to a small ¼-acre fire involving a single tree that was struck by lightning. No significant heat has been observed in the fire area, and minimal spread is expected with the repeated rain each day.  

Weather: Monsoon moisture remains in place through Sunday for a daily chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms mainly in the afternoon and evening hours. The stronger thunderstorms will be capable of producing strong outflow winds and heavy rainfall. Warmer high temperatures are expected today and then remain nearly steady through Sunday. Humidity values will gradually lower through the upcoming weekend, especially at night. 

Evacuations: All evacuations and evacuation preparedness levels have been lifted for communities in Sierra, Grant, and Catron Counties. The real-time, interactive evacuation map has been revised to reflect this change. 

Closures: The Black Fire Emergency Closure remains in effect on National Forest System lands around the Black Fire area. Additional information is available at: Highway 152 remains open from milepost 40 (Kingston) to milepost 15 (San Lorenzo). Please continue to use caution in the area and be mindful of increased fire traffic.  

Restrictions: Know Before You Go! The  public can obtain  current state and federal  fire restriction information across New Mexico at NMFire Info | Fire Restrictions or NM Forestry Division state-wide fire restrictions.   

Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public is always the top priority.  Members of the public  should stay away from Black Fire operations. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Black Fire area, which includes unmanned aircraft, or drones. More information on the dangers drones pose to wildland firefighting aircraft and personnel on the ground can be found at:  

Smoke: Smoke has become less visible as rainstorms have moved into the Black Fire area. An interactive smoke map at allows you to zoom  into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.  

Fire updates are posted on InciWeb, the Gila National Forest Facebook and Twitter pages, and NM Fire Information

Email:  Phone: (575)-249-1264  Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM 

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit 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.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option above this to the right, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

It has come to this editor's attention that people are sending information to the Grant County Beat Facebook page. Please be aware that the editor does not regularly monitor the page. If you have items you want to send to the editor, please send them to Thanks!

Here for YOU: 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—

Feel free to notify if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised.