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Bear Trap Fire

Unit Information

Cibola National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2113 Osuna Rd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113

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Incident Contacts

Bear Trap Fire Information
Phone: 928-362-2906
Hours: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Pat Johnson
Phone: 505-850-2657

Highlighted Activity

05/24/2022 Bear Trap Fire update, Tuesday, May 24
Bear Trap Fire Update May 24, 2022   Acres: 26,128 acres               Containment: 28% Cause: Undetermined Total Personnel: 563              Start...
News - 05/24/2022
Fire perimeter as determined by overnight infrared flightImage options: [ Full Size ]

The Bear Trap Fire was reported as 100 acres on May 1, 2022 at 1200 hours in Bear Trap Canyon, San Mateo Mountains, Magdalena Ranger District, Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands. The fire is approximately 22 miles southwest of Magdalena, New Mexico.

On May 3, the Albuquerque Zone Type 3 Team assumed command of the fire. The Southwest Type 2 Incident Management Team 4 transitioned with the previous team on May 14. California Incident Management Team 10 accepted transfer of command of the Fire on May 24. The Bear Trap Fire is burning actively and increasing temperatures and historically dry conditions continue to challenge firefighters. The strategy for the Bear Trap Fire is to fully contain the fire while protecting valuable resources in the area, including natural and cultural resources and infrastructure. Crews have been successful in limiting fire spread to the north, east, and west along previous prescribed fire scars. Fire activity is now concentrated on the southern flank as it slowly advances to the southwest, fueled by dry conditions. At this time, the fire is not a threat to any communities, and there are no evacuations in effect.

Closures: The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands (NF & NGs) have issued a fire area closure, road and trails closure to protect public health and safety during fire operations on the Bear Trap Fire. The full closure order (No. 03-0726) and map are available at

Restrictions: Based on high fire danger and severe fire weather conditions, the Cibola NF & NGs implemented Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on the mountain districts, including the Magdalena Ranger District. The full order (No. 03-0724) and map are available at

Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public are always the first priority. Members of the public should stay away from Bear Trap Fire operations. A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the area, which includes unmanned aircraft, or drones. More information on the dangers drones pose to wildland firefighting aircraft and personnel on the ground can be found at:

Smoke: Smoke from the Bear Trap Fire and other nearby fires may be visible in the surrounding areas of Alamo, Datil, Magdalena, Socorro, Winston and San Antonio, NM. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health Environmental Public Health Tracking website: An interactive smoke map at allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.

Fire updates are posted on InciWeb, Cibola NF & NGs website, Facebook and Twitter pages, the NM Fire Information website.

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For more information on the Bear Trap Fire, please contact: 928-362-2906

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSunday May 01st, 2022 approx. 12:00 PM
Location22 miles Southwest of Magdalena, NM.
Incident CommanderEric Petterson, California Incident Management Team 10
Incident DescriptionNew Wildfire Start
Coordinates33.85 latitude, -107.533 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel563
Size26,128 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained28%
Estimated Containment DateTuesday May 31st, 2022 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Grass and Understory)

Closed Timber Litter

Timber (Litter and Understory)

Fuels are extremely dry in all categories. Live fuel moisture remains at critical levels due to lack of seasonal precipitation. Heavy presence of large diameter dead and down across the fire area. Burn scars to the east of the crest are holding fire due to sparse and discontinuous fuels.

Significant Events





Fire is moving easily through a mostly continuous fuel bed. Downslope backing is interspersed with short uphill runs as fire moves into alignment with slope. Fire along the ridges is being pushed downslope and across by light winds. Receptive fuels are resulting in some spotting approximately 1/2 mile out.


Planned Actions

In Divisons A/W, hold, secure, and monitor Northern side of the fire, along 549 to Hughes Mill. Continue suppression repair on contingency line, continue chipping. In Division K/F, complete chipping operations, and monitor fire activity in the North Fire scar. Continue holding the dozerline and hold fire on the 478 Road. Division Oscar resources will continue to hold roads where ignition operations took place on the 219 A and 219 Road. Further ignition operations are being conducting southward on the 219 to the 73 Road.

Aerial ignitions will continue to be considered if conditions are appropriate.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Fire advancing South/Southwest along a relatively straight front. Strong SW winds will slow movement potential for some high intensity runs upslope. Elevated wind profile for the next 12 to 24 hours. Movement down Hudson and east of Whitewater towards West Red Canyon.

24 hours: Movement continues southwest in Whitewater and Hudson Canyons. Red Canyon and Box Draw Canyon continue to carry fire towards Hudson. Limited movement east, off the San Mateo crest due to non-continuous fuels in several recent fire scars.

48 hours: Movement continues Southwest south of Bay Bucks Peak in Whitewater and Hudson Canyons. Red Canyon and Box Draw Canyon continue to carry fire towards Hudson. Limited movement east, off the San Mateo crest due to non-continuous fuels in several recent fire scars.

72 hours: Continued movement Southwest approaching established line in Division Oscar and Mike. Limited movement east, off the San Mateo crest due to non-continuous fuels in several recent fire scars.

Anticipated after 72 hours: Continued movement to the southwest as fire fills in and approaches containment lines. Limited movement east, off the San Mateo crest due to non-continuous fuels in several recent fire scars.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Dry westerly flow aloft spread across the fire area, with mostly cloudy morning skies giving way to a mixture of sun and clouds during the afternoon. Temperatures warmed into the low to mid 70s across the fire, while humidity fell into the 10 to 15 percent range by mid-afternoon. Winds were from the southwest at 6 to 8 mph with gusts of 15 to 18 mph.

This warm and dry airmass was in place ahead of a cold front, which will cross the area this evening, and bring slightly cooler temperatures for Tuesday. The airmass will remain very dry however, and after a night of good overnight recovery, humidity will again fall to near 10% Tuesday afternoon. Stronger northwest winds will develop by early afternoon, with gusts in excess of 30 mph expected across non-sheltered areas, and within wind aligned drainages. This combination of very low humidity and windy conditions will result in critical fire weather conditions Tuesday afternoon, and a Red Flag Warning is in effect for the Bear Trap fire area Tuesday afternoon through sunset Tuesday evening. High pressure will strengthen across the area mid-week, with the associated warming trend resulting in hot and dry conditions Wednesday and Thursday. An increase in southwest winds by Friday may result in critical fire weather conditions for the end of the week.