Regional
1:32 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Smoke Blankets Las Cruces As Silver Fire Grows; More Firefighters On Board

Credit Gila National Forest

  Additional firefighters have arrived on the Silver Fire, which has grown to more than 85,000 acres, and is only 20 percent contained.  Crews will focus on the west flank of the fire and conduct burnout operations south of McKnight Road along the fire perimeter, as weather conditions allow.  Tuesday, helicopters were heavily utilized along active fire on the west perimeter, making 35 water drops totaling 30,000 gallons.  Minimal fire activity is being detected on the east side of the fire as the fire is reaching lighter fuels in the lower elevation.  Fire personnel are monitoring the east flank of the fire to detect any hot spots. Fire activity on the north perimeter continued to be active through the night with fire growth in the Upper Middle Seco drainage.

Firefighters can expect significant fire activity today as weather conditions will be hot, dry and unstable.  As a result, tall smoke columns are likely to develop.  The fuels in the fire area are critically dry and the potential for fire growth is expected to continue towards the north, east of the Crest Trail (307).

There are currently no evacuations in effect and no structures have burned.  The fire is approximately 5 miles west of Hermosa and 19 miles southwest of Winston.  Firefighters are completing structure protection in Hermosa.  

Businesses along New Mexico State Highways 15 and 35 remain open.  The majority of the Gila National Forest is open for recreational opportunities with Stage One fire restrictions in effect.  For more information go to firerestrictions.us. There is an emergency closure in place for the area of forest affected by the Silver Fire.  For more information about the fire closure go to http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila .

Weather:  The area will experience westerly winds, as an upper level high pressure system builds over the southwest. Temperatures will be 92 to 95 degrees. Relative humidity will be between 4-8%.

Smoke:  The most significant smoke impacts from the Silver Fire are to the east to Capitan, NM.  Information on wildland fire smoke and your health can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health's website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.

Road Closure:  NM Highway 152 is closed from Kingston to San Lorenzo.  For additional information go to www.nmroads.com

For additional fire information, visit the following websites: www.facebook.com/SilverFireNM

www.flickr.com/gilaforest    www.twitter.com/SilverFireNM