Wildfire Update: Signal Fire At 50 Percent Containment

May 11, 2014

The Signal fire was attacked with full suppression strategy. Firefighters worked in extremely rough terrain Friday to add an additional 15% containment to the fire line. This additional containment brought the total containment to 50% by evening. Winds began to add velocity during the afternoon to challenge crews on the eastern front of the fire but they continued to make good progress. Crews roughed in a line on the east side of the fire that will be improved during the next two days. With the arrival of a very dry air mass from Baja California beginning to be felt yesterday along with increased temperatures and westerly winds aloft, evening smoke was beginning to appear over the Silver City area, which likely came from the Skunk Fire in Arizona.

Today’s Actions: Crews today will be continuing to attack the edge of the fire directly and improving already created fire lines. With the weather much drier and conditions unstable, the likelihood of ignition if a spark lands in dry grass is 100%. The increased warmer temperatures will increase fire behavior with more aggressive burning as the day progresses. Smoke columns potentially could be observed from the fire today. Fire managers are concerned that fuels remaining inside the fire perimeter and the winds anticipated during the next five days could create the risk of spot fires. Crews have been identified and prepositioned to provide initial attack to deal with that possibility.

Weather: A period of critical fire weather began yesterday and continues for the next five days. Temperatures are expected to continue to increase over the next few days. Today’s temperature is expected to reach into the 80 degree range within the fire perimeter.

Silver City, Pinos Altos, Gila Cliff Dwellings and local special events are NOT being impacted by the Signal Fire.