On Thursday, June 16, at 6:00 p.m., the Southwest Area Type 2 Incident Management Team 4 will host an event at Hillsboro Community Center, 316 Elenora Street in Hillsboro, New Mexico.
To learn about the current evacuation status for the Black Fire, please access the real-time, interactive evacuation map or contact your local emergency management office for Sierra County, Catron County, and Grant County.
Operations: Successful firefighting activities have resulted in additional containment around the northern perimeter of the fire near Lookout Mountain. Aerial resources are aiding firefighters on the ground by dropping water on hot spots, conducting reconnaissance missions, and selectively igniting vegetation to minimize fire intensity. A helicopter dropped additional water buckets on the 40-acre “slop over” to cool the fire inside the containment line.
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As it continues to advance into the Gila Wilderness, the fire is most active in deep drainage near Hillsboro Lookout within the 2013 Silver Fire burnt area. After placing the protective wrap around the historic Hillsboro cabin, firefighters employed aerial ignitions to gently consume fuel between the edge of the expanding fire and the metal lookout tower. These activities produced a low-intensity fire that successfully built a protective buffer around the Hillsboro Lookout.
In Kingston, firefighters erected 60 sprinkler kits to assist protect this town by soaking the area and elevating the humidity levels surrounding the structures. Nightshift employees are also cutting excess vegetation around structures in case the fire moves in this direction. Firefighters are working in Ladder Ranch to restore the evidence of suppression actions where the fire line was established as a contingency precaution. New Mexico Highway 152 will remain restricted due to the aggressive fire behavior at Hillsboro Lookout. Firefighters and public safety continue to be the foremost priority over all other incident objectives.
Weather: Enough moisture flows back into the area this afternoon for the risk of dry thunderstorms. The thunder threat will linger well into the midnight hours tonight. Increasing thunderstorm chances are forecast through the weekend as the storms move from dry to wet. Southeasterly winds are expected to continue until Sunday. Thunderstorms are expected to dump a lot of rain this weekend, raising the risk of flash floods.
Closures: From milepost 40 (Kingston) to milepost 15, Highway 152 is temporarily closed (San Lorenzo). There is no public access to this area. A section of the Gila National Forest that was damaged by the blaze has been shut down for public safety reasons.
Safety: Firefighters’ and the public’s health and safety are of the utmost importance. People are advised to avoid Black Fire operations at all costs. The Black Fire area has been placed under a Temporary Flight Restriction, which includes drones.
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Smoke: Mimbres, Kingston, Hillsboro, and San Lorenzo, NM may see visible smoke from the Black Fire. Precautions should be taken by those who are sensitive to smoke and those who have respiratory or heart conditions. NMtracking.org is the state’s environmental public health tracking website, where you can find information on air quality and how to safeguard your health. It’s possible to zoom in on your location and observe the most current smoke conditions.
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