Pass Fire
Gila National Forest
Incident Commanders
Robert Laeng IC - Dustin Roper IC (t)

Information Phone: 575-388-8211
Hours: 8 am-4:30pm

Acres: 59,074
Start Date: May 18, 2023
Location: 40 miles west of Winston, NM
Cause: Lightning
Containment: 12%
Fuels: Timber, piñon/juniper and grass
Personnel: 140, 1 Type 1 Helicopter, 2 Type 3 Helicopters

Yesterday, crews completed about half of the planned hand ignitions along the Iron Trail (771) to remove available fuels and establish containment along the southeastern fire perimeter in the Burnt Corral Canyon area. Today, crews will monitor and hold yesterday's ignitions through hot, dry conditions. Hand ignitions along Iron Trail #771 and White Rocks Trail #27 may continue tomorrow if conditions prove favorable. Crews continue monitoring fire activity and effectiveness of past suppression actions west of Indian Creek and an area of heat in the Log Canyon area.

A public safety road and trail closure went into effect yesterday, including all or portions of several roads and trails that provide access to and within the perimeter of the Pass Fire. These closures include Forest Roads 704 and 4208P in their entirety, and portions of Trails 26, 27, 157, 771, and 772. The area closure and associated map can be found at Gila National Forest - Alerts & Notices (

Applying a "confine and contain" strategy allows fire to play its natural role in fire-adapted forest ecosystems, while protecting private land, infrastructure, and natural resource values at risk. Fire is a normal visitor to the Gila landscape and something with which we all have to cope. Ecosystems here are not only adapted to fire, but dependent on the frequent return of low to moderate intensity fire to maintain healthy forest, watershed, and fuels conditions.

Fire danger is increasing under hot, dry weather conditions. The need for fire restrictions on the Gila National Forest is reassessed daily. If they are allowed and weather permits, you must watch your campfire at all times, or extinguish it fully when it is not attended. Douse with plenty of water, stir it into the coals, and feel for heat. Extinguished means cold to the touch with your bare hand.

Weather: Sunny, with highs of 80 – 87 F and north winds of 0 - 10 mph. Conditions will be very dry with minimum relative humidity of 8%. Though smoke production isn't expected to be heavy today, it will tend to hover, with insufficient winds to efficiently carry it away. Smoke tends to settle into lower valleys during overnight heat inversions. Low elevation smokey conditions may persist during early morning hours, generally lifting with solar heating.
Aviation Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is still in place over the Pass Fire. All non-fire aircraft are restricted. This includes civilian drones. Unauthorized aircraft in the area will ground firefighting aircraft, hindering firefighting efforts. If you fly, we can't.

For More Information:
New Mexico Fire Information:
Air Quality:


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