Firefighters made progress Thursday, and the Silver Fire is now 20 percent contained. For the third straight day, the northern portion of the fire exhibited very active fire behavior with a smoke column reaching up to 30,000 feet. South of NM Highway 152 minimal fire activity was observed. Air tankers were called in late in the day to help firefighters hold containment lines.
Friday, firefighters will construct indirect fire line from East Yates Canyon to McKnight Cabin in the northwest part of the fire and along the Hermosa Trail in the northeast part.
A red flag warning is in effect for the Silver Fire area and will continue to challenge firefighters. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the warnings are issued to warn fire managers about “critical weather and fuel moisture conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity.” Warnings are generated as a result of low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, or a combination of these factors. A similar warning was in effect for the area Thursday when the fire grew to 44,600 acres.
A public meeting will be held Friday, June 21, 2013, at the Round Up Lodge in San Lorenzo at 6 p.m.
Elated residents of Kingston, NM were allowed to return home Thursday after 10 days as evacuees from the Silver Fire. Many residents had been staying with neighbors or friends and are cautioned smoke will still be visible for many days near Kingston.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and key staff members were briefed on firefighting efforts at the Silver Fire Incident Command Post this morning.
Silver Fire resources include five helicopters, five 20-person hotshot crews, four 20-person hand crews, 15 engines, one dozer and eight water tenders for 498 total personnel.
Cooperators include the Grant and Sierra County Sheriff’s Departments, NM State Police, Las Cruces BLM District, NM State Forestry and NM Department of Transportation.
Silver Fire updates can be found on Inciweb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3414. For additional fire information visit the following websites: www.facebook.com/SilverFireNM, www.flickr.com/gilaforest, www.twitter.com/SilverFireNM.