Wildfire Incident Report

Prepared: Tuesday, July 16, 2024 2:58:23 AM MDT

Wildfire Incident Report


Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center
La Grande, OR, USA
www.fireweatheravalanche.org
Incident #
2023-NMGNF-000447
FWAC Incident ID
39092373
Incident Name
Prior Fire
Last Updated
Thursday, October 5, 2023 10:00 AM MDT
(10 months ago)
Fire Reported
Wednesday, July 26, 2023 5:32 AM MDT
(12 months ago)
State
New Mexico
Incident Type
Wildfire
Location
36.5 miles NNW of Silver City, NM
Responsible Agency
US Forest Service
Responsible Fire Unit
Gila National Forest
Fuels
timber grass brush
Notes
Out 9/29/23 @1600 | Contain: 09/15/2023 10:00 | Control: 09/28/2023 16:00 | Out: 09/29/2023 16:00
Current Weather

Fire Growth Potential
Fire Weather Forecast
Incident Overview

The Prior Fire continued to show growth on the west perimeter along Forest System Trail 164 west of Woodland Park and the fire continued to burn in No Name Canyon west of Prior Creek. There was also growth on the east side of the fire in Woodland Park. The fire size was mapped via aircraft yesterday at 3,670 acres.

Last Updated
Fri, Aug 4, 2023 10:39 AM UTC
Incident Type
Wildfire
Cause
Lightninng
Fire Discovered
Wed, Jul 26, 2023 11:32 AM UTC
Location
Mimbres NM
Incident Commander
Aaron Jones IC3, USFS
Incident Description
An ad-hoc Type 3 incident management team assumed command of the Prior and Packsaddle fires yesterday with Aaron Jones as the Incident Commander.
Crews were inserted into the Middle Fork Gila near Flying V canyon, Willow Creek, and Gila center to begin assessing and clearing Forest System Trails for potential future control features as the fire moves closer to values at risk. The Prior Fire is a great opportunity for fire to play its natural role in the landscape as it burns in a remote area of the Gila Wilderness. Historically this area has seen fires return at regular intervals. Fire behavior was observed to be low to moderate intensity surface fire, that is consuming down heavy fuels, grass and timber litter.
Frequent fire return in these fire adapted ecosystems aids in raising tree limb height and reducing ladder fuels that could result in higher intensity fires. The rich fire history in the Gila Wilderness has resulted in conditions where fire can play its natural role with a much lower chance of high a high severity fire. We expect to see a much lower mortality rate in the Ponderosa Pine and Mixed conifer. The fire did receive precipitation yesterday and a horseback group will be riding the fire today to assess potential for growth. Crews will continue to prep trails and monitor fire growth. Smoke may be visible from the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.
Coordinates
33.294444444444, -108.38805555556
Total Personnel
42
Size
3,670 Acres
Fuels Involved

Timber, brush

Planned Actions
Personnel on horseback rode into White Creek Cabin yesterday to conduct protection actions on cultural resources in Lilly Park.
Projected Incident Activity

48 hours: Thunderstorms expected to arrive Friday with the potential for gusty outflow winds and lightning.

12 hours: Fire activity expected to increase throughout the day as warm temps and low RH, along with northerly winds a concern. Single tree torching with spot fire development is likely.

12 hours: Low relative humidity and moderate temperatures will result in active fire behavior. With fine dead fuel moistures at 3

24 hours: Increased cloud cover and cooler temperatures will reduce the potential for fire spread on Friday. Northwest winds will limit most fire spread to backing along the western flank. Single tree torching may occur, but spotting should be minimal.

48 hours: Cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity will significantly limit fire movement in fine dead fuels. Heavy fuels will continue to burn and will be the most likely source of fire spread. Spotting should be minimal. Winds will shift to out of the east shifting the primary direction of fire spread.

72 hours: Sunday will be the peak of the cooling trend with lower maximum temperatures and high relative humidity. This will suppress fire behavior substantially, though expect burning to persist in heavy fuels. Surface fire spread should be limited to creeping and smoldering activity. Expect wind to shift to out of the south changing the primary direction of fire spread.

72 hours: Fire growth will remain minimal through the weekend but will begin to increase Monday. Fire behavior will remain low and slow in surface fuels, but more heat will be present in heavy fuels. Winds will shift back out of the west.

Remarks
Closed:
Trails 268, 785, 12, 730, 156. Trail 29 from Prior Cabin west to the junction of Trail 30, Trail 30 from the junction of trail 165 south to the junction with 164 in Lilly Park, Trail 164 in Lilly Park east to the junction with trail 12 in Woodland Park.
Incident Map

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