Wildfire Incident Information
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6% contained
Fire Status
Last Updated
13 mins, 41 secs ago
Fire Start
Friday, May 13, 2022 10:30 PM MDT
Incident #
Primary Fire Agency

US Forest Service — Gila National Forest

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Current Weather

Fire Growth Potential

Fire Weather Forecast

Incident Overview

Inciweb information was updated: 57 mins, 52 secs ago

Firefighters increase containment; Cause under investigation

Daily Update 5/22/2022

Acres: 130,224 acres
Location: 31 miles NW of Truth or Consequences
Containment: 6%
Personnel: 616
Start Date: Friday, May 13, 2022
Cause: Human caused, under investigation
Fuels: Timber and tall grass
Structures Lost: 2
Overview: The Black Fire is human caused and law enforcement is Investigating. Firefighting resources have been working to suppress this fire since it was discovered, and are building fireline to contain the Black Fire as efficiently and effectively as possible, while providing for both firefighter and public safety.

Fire Update: The Black Fire showed active fire behavior on Saturday, with increased activity where fuels and topography aligned. The north and northeast flanks were active earlier in the day across pine stands while higher relative humidity helped slow the fire spread in the east and southeast flanks. On the south end, fire backed into Black Canyon throughout the day and into last night, with upslope/up drainage pushes. Crews worked on Forest Road 150 to the south as well as Titanic Road to the north. Structural assessments continued and firefighters cut additional handline, providing point protection for infrastructure and other values at risk. Crews also secured containment lines, monitoring fire behavior and mopping up, where firelines are secure. Fire moved across Black Canyon so aerial firing operations were used to protect pine stands in the area.

Today, active fire behavior will continue across the Black Fire. Crews will conduct structural assessments,
taking point protection actions across the fire area. Firefighters will revisit check lines/roads – temporary
fireline constructed at right angles to the main control line that are used to hold fire in check as a means of regulating the heat or intensity of the firing operations to identify opportunities to build out additional containment lines.

Fire is expected to continue to move north/northeast through pine, grass, and brush fuels and east/southeast through drainage bottoms when fuels and terrain align. The area within and surrounding the Black Fire is rugged and the drainages and terrain continue to pose challenges for firefighters. Firefighters are working day and night to contain the fire with a variety of tactics including hand crews, aerial ignitions, and aerial resources dropping water and retardant, where effective and safe to do so. Firefighters engage in active and extreme fire behavior conditions by giving themselves space and time to build containment lines further from the flaming front and ahead of the longest spotting distances. In doing so, there is unburned fuel between the main fire edge and the designated “indirect” containment line. This space gives firefighters a safer opportunity to complete containment lines and initiate tactical firing operations to reinforce those lines by building an already burnt path that, in essence, builds a wider containment line and robs the main fire front from progressing.

Evacuations: In coordination with Grant, Catron, and Sierra counties, the following areas are under evacuation status as of 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 21:
GO – Area 2: New: A portion of Area 1 is now in go, including Taylor Ranch and Alexander Peak. The line
extends north along the Titanic Road, then east approximately eight miles before heading southeast, tying back into Area 2. The rest of Area 2 remains in Go. The rest of Area 1 remains in Set, and encompasses parts of Catron and Sierra Counties, including Beaverhead and Poverty Creek.
GO – Area 6: Change: Area 6 east of Forest Road 150 is now in Go. The area west of Forest Road 150 remains in set. This area is in Grant County.
GO – Area 4: No Change: Areas in Sierra County, including Hermosa and Mud Spring Mountain.
GO – Area 5: No Change: Areas in Grant County, including 150 corridor 1.5 south of Tom Moore Trailhead.
SET: Area 7: Change: Area 7 east of Forest Road 150 is now in Set and includes the Continental Divide Scenic Trail. The area west of Forest Road 150 remains in Ready, including the Rocky Canyon Campground.
SET – Area 3: No Change: Areas in Sierra County, including Winston and Chloride.
READY – Area 8: New: Area beginning at the south end of Area 7, four miles south, then east approximately 27 miles. The area now includes Victorio Park Mountain, Flagpole Mountain, and Pack Trail. Several areas have been evacuated or are in evacuation readiness.

The sheriffs of Grant, Catron, and Sierra counties are using the Ready, Set, Go program to notify residents of evacuation status. For detailed information on Ready, Set, Go! New Mexico, visit

Weather: A large trough of low pressure will remain over the fire area through Wednesday. This will continue to bring cooler temperatures and light southwest to westerly winds at 10-15mph and gusts up to 25mph.

Road Closures: Highway 59, is closed from the 59/52 intersections west to the 59/150 intersection, as well as portions of Forest Road 150 (aka North Star Mesa Road or Wall Lake Road) to the public. I-25 and other state highways remain open.

Smoke: Southwest winds will push smoke to the northeast. Also, smoke impacts from the Bear Trap Fire will cause Magdalena and Socorro to see average periods of moderate air quality with possible times of unhealthy for sensitive groups (USG). Areas south of the Bear Fire we will see good air quality for most of the day. Winds out of the southwest 12-17 mph gusts 25 mph. Visit https://outlooks.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlook/63a6f2d8? for additional information.

Aviation Restrictions: Airtankers, helicopters, and water scoopers are assisting firefighters’ suppression
efforts. There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the Black Fire to allow official aviation resources to operate safely.

Fire Restrictions: The Gila National Forest entered Stage 2 Fire Restrictions at 8 a.m., Thursday, May 19, 2022. Visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/gila/alerts-notices/?aid=73002. The New Mexico State Forester has implemented statewide fire restrictions. Information is available at https://www.emnrd.nm.gov/sfd/findcurrent-fire-restrictions/.

More Information:
Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8103/
New Mexico Fire information: https://nmfireinfo.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GilaNForest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gilanforest

Basic Incident Details

Incident Type
Date of Origin
Friday, May 13, 2022 9:30 PM MDT
24 miles N of Mimbres
Incident Commander
Mike Spilde, SWA IMT 5
Incident Description
33.204, -108.059

Current Situation

Total Personnel
Size (Acres)
Estimated Containment
Thursday, July 7, 2022 12:00 AM MDT
Fuels Involved
Tall Grass

Fuels consist of pine and mixed-conifer stands at higher elevations and within drainages. Pinyon/juniper populates mesa tops and transition zones to lower elevations, with high desert grass, creosote, and mesquite fuels in lower elevations to the east. Grass loads are higher than normal due to robust monsoons in 2021. Previous fire footprints are actively carrying fire in dead/down and grass fuels. Thus far, oak and aspen regeneration stands in these areas are not stalling fire spread. ERCs and BI values are setting all-time high values.
Significant Events
Uphill Runs
Wind Drive Runs

The Black Fire showed Active fire behavior today with increase activity where fuels and topography aligned. The N and NE flanks were active early in pine and conifer litter while the E and SE flanks showed slower increase in fire behavior due to effects of RH recovery in grass fuels. Fire continues to actively
back in to Black Canyon on the S with upslope/up drainage pushes with the aid of slope reversal and spotting.
Projected Incident Activity
12 hours: Fire will continue to move to the N/NE through pine, grass, and brush fuels. Fire on the E/SE flank will increase in activity in drainage bottoms after stalling overnight with high RH and continue downslope spread with upslope runs when fuels and topo align. Fire along the S flank will continue to back down in to Black Canyon. Better RH recoveries overnight will slow/stall fire spread in grass.

24 hours: Fire spread in pine/conifer litter and dead/down fuels will continue spread through drainages and dry fuels. Where these two align, Active to Extreme Fire behavior is expected in short uphill runs. A slower start is expected on the E and SE flanks as grass fuels dry from overnight RH recoveries but by afternoon will become active and begin movement in drainages with
upslope runs.

48 hours: Fire will continue progression to the N, E, and S driven by live fuels and topography. Active fire behavior with upslope pushes and passive crown fire will continue. Fire is expected to be well established in Black Canyon to the S and will push uphill from the W in to the 2013 Silver Fire.

72 hours: Declining RH will increase the burn period, primarily in grass, and will allow pine litter and dead fuels to spread and consume overnight. Fire spread to the N may begin reaching containment lines with consistent spread in open pine stands.

Anticipated after 72 hours: A short period of NW winds will support additional growth to the S and areas E of the divide with support to push fire through dead fuels in previous fire footprints. Fire flanks on the N will primarily be flanking fire which will reduce potential for extended fire runs through timber stands.
A Black Fire Emergency Closure Order is in effect for areas of the Wilderness Ranger District. The identified areas, and roads and trails therein, are closed to public access due to active wildfires and extreme fire danger. The Gila National Forest has also implemented forest-wide Stage II fire restrictions.
For more information, visit

Evacuation information can be found at www.nmfireinfo.com

Road and trail closures are in effect throughout the fire area. Highway 59 is closed from the 59/52 intersection west to the 59/150 intersection.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) has been put in place over the fire area. Visit
https://www.tfr.faa.gov for more information. Drone flights are also prohibited over the fire area.

Weather Synopsis

Weather Concerns
The high temperature today at 6,700 feet was 78 F with minimum
relative humidity at 10 %. The winds were generally out of the
southwest 10 to 15 MPH with gusts to around 25 MPH.
A large trough
of low pressure will remain over the Western States through Wednesday. This will continue to bring southwest to westerly winds each afternoon and evening this weekend. Sunday will be slightly cooler during the day with southwest winds 10 to 15 MPH with gusts to around 25 MPH. A disturbance will rotate around the main trough and will bring increasing west to northwest winds Monday night and Tuesday. High pressure will start a warming trend on Thursday.

Fire Incident Contact

Incident Contact
Black Fire Information
Phone: 575-249-1264
Hours: Daily, 8am - 8pm
Fire Unit Information
Gila National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3005 E. Camino del Bosque
Silver City, NM 88061

Dispatch Center Contact

Silver City Interagency Dispatch Center (NM-SDC)

Silver City, NM