SILVER CITY, NM. – Unusual nighttime easterly winds drove the Silver Fire to within one-quarter mile of the town of Kingston. Firefighters responded overnight and successfully protected the town. The town of Kingston remains under a mandatory evacuation order. An evacuation center is located in the town of Hillsboro at the Community Center on Elenora Street.
To ensure public safety the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Area has been closed east of Highway 150 from the Continental Divide Trail #74 south to Reeds Peak. Highway 152 from San Lorenzo to Hillsborough is closed. Closure is for eastbound and westbound traffic from 35 miles east of Bayard at mile marker 16 to 10 miles west of Hillsboro at mile marker 40. Trail #79 is also closed. For more information see http://fs.usda.gov/gila or www.nmroads.com.
Northern Arizona Incident Management Team Commander Matt Reidy told firefighters early this morning that crews were to look for the most effective places to engage the fire with the greatest possibility of success. Reidy reminded the crews that this fire is especially dangerous because it has been over 100 years since there has been a fire here and the forest is extremely dense.
Today’s weather will continue to challenge firefighter efforts to contain and suppress the Silver Fire. It will be hot and dry with the possibility of dry lightning. Unstable atmospheric conditions could allow for a large column of smoke to form over the fire. While the 11,500 acre fire remains 0% contained, all divisions of the fire are beginning to build fireline where possible and specialized crews are completing structure protection.
About 350 personnel are assigned to the incident including seven hotshot crews, three 20-person crews, 10 engines, and two dozers. Due to the large amount of fire activity in the state, competition for resources is high.
Silver Fire information is posted at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3414.
For additional fir information visit the following websites: