Gila Wildfire Update

UPDATE

Gila National Forest reported that as of Wednesday afternoon, the Wallow Fire was contained. Mopping up will continue through Friday, May 27.

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A wildfire was discovered at 2:30 Saturday afternoon, May 21, four miles southwest of Bearwallow Lookout on the Glenwood Ranger District, Gila National Forest.

According to a press release from Andrea Martinez of the Public Affairs Office, the “Wallow Fire” is situated in a heavy fuel concentration and in very steep and rugged terrain about 15 miles east of Mogollon. Within 15 minutes, a lead plane, three airtankers, and 16 smokejumpers were airborne to this fire. One heavy helitanker was diverted from the Miller Fire Sunday afternoon to aid in the initial attack.

By six o’clock Sunday morning, 30 acres had burned. Eight additional smokejumpers were flown to the fire scene and three Hotshot Crews walked into the fire for a total of 84 firefighters on the fireline. Cause of fire is undetermined at this time.

At approximately two o’clock Sunday afternoon a carelessly tossed cigarette ignited a fire near mile marker 10 on Highway 15. A rapid response contained the fire spread at one-half acre.  All fine fuels are very dry and easily ignited so remember to properly dispose of all cigarette butts in an ashtray.  Current restrictions ban all smoking on the Forest except inside closed vehicles and buildings.

Meanwhile, the Miller Fire located 25 miles north of Silver City, at 47 percent containment, has blackened 81,527 acres since originally detected on April 28.

All forest fuels remain dry due to many months of severe drought conditions contributing to “Extreme” fire conditions throughout southern New Mexico. A word of caution while enjoying all outside activities. Any heat source or spark can easily start a fast-moving fire.

Photo taken from Highway 15. Courtesy U.S. Forest Service