Skip to main content

Black Fire

Unit Information

Gila National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3005 E. Camino del Bosque
Silver City, NM 88061

USFS Shield

Incident Contacts

Black Fire Information
Email: larry.smith@usda.gov
Phone: 575-388-8201

Highlighted Activity

06/27/2022 Black Fire FINAL Update, Monday, June 27
SOUTHWEST AREA INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM TEAM 4 –AARON HULBURD –INCIDENT COMMANDER  Local Type 3 organization to assume command of the Black Fire June 27, 2022 Daily Update  ...
News - 06/27/2022
fire growth per day in different colorsImage options: [ Full Size ]

The Black Fire is mostly on National Forest lands in extremely rugged and remote areas that are difficult to safely access for line construction. It is also within the old Silver Fire burn scar (2013) where standing dead tree densities are very high.  

The strategy for the Black Fire has been to fully suppress the fire while protecting valuable resources in the area, including natural and cultural resources and infrastructure on private property. Suppression tactics include a mix of direct and indirect actions where the risk is proportionate to the reward for achieving objectives. Crews have been successful in limiting fire spread to the north, east and west. Fire activity remains minimal along the southern flank within the old burn scar. Firefighters have been repairing firelines and stabilizing them to reduce erosion resulting from heavy monsoon rains. They are also watching for lingering hot spots and crews continue to mop up and patrol the outer edges.

The Black Fire was discovered May 13, 2022 at approximately 9:30 pm, at about 150 acres, burning primarily in the Gila wilderness area north of Black Canyon. The fire originated 24 miles north of Mimbres in the Gila National Forest.

On May 14, a Type 3 Team assumed command of the fire. The Southwest Type 2 Incident Management Team 5 transitioned with the previous team on May 18. Southwest Type 2 Incident Management Team 3 accepted transfer of command of the fire May 31 before finally transitioning with Southwest Type 2 Incident Management Team 4 on June 14. Transition to a local type 3 team occurred at 6 pm on June 27.

Future Fire Information:
The Black Fire Information phone number and email address will no longer be active after 6:00 PM, June 27. For future updates, please contact the Gila National Forest at 575-388-8201 or the local Public Information Officer at larry.smith@usda.gov.  

Fire Restrictions:

Local law enforcement officials lifted evacuations on Monday, June, 21, 2022. 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 CountyCatron County, and Grant County. Click on this link to view the map:      Interactive Evacuation Map

More Information:


To easily view items in the below categories while using a cell phone, simply click on the word.

Announcements          Closures           News          Photographs           Videos          Maps 

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseHuman Caused
Date of OriginFriday May 13th, 2022 approx. 09:30 PM
Location24 miles N of Mimbres
Incident CommanderAaron Hulburd IC Andy Mandell Deputy IC
Incident Description24 miles north of Mimbres, NM
Coordinates33.204 latitude, -108.059 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel195
Size325,136 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained70%
Estimated Containment DateSunday July 17th, 2022 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Dormant Brush, Hardwood Slash

Timber (Grass and Understory)

Light Logging Slash

Fire is currently located in the Silver Fire scar. Fuels are a mix of grass and brush with a heavy dead and down component. Many of the canyon bottoms have pine stringers present with some understory component. All fuels are responding to the onset of Monsoon moisture. Energy Release Component for the Predictive Service Area is reflecting a significant seasonal drop in values, with the current value now well below seasonal averages and continuing to drop.

Significant Events

Minimal

Backing

Creeping

Smoldering

Fire has stalled due to moisture received. Limited areas of heat remain associated with areas of heavy fuel loading and presence of heavy dead and down. Minimal movement is expected. Fire conditions are becoming representative for this time of year and are not conducive to large fire spread due to increased fuel moistures and elevated relative humidity.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Thunderstorm activity will continue within the fire area with gusty winds and isolated rain showers. Although the threat of erratic fire behavior is very low fire damaged trees that are weakened and could fall and cause serious injury to fireline personnel, buildings and other infrastructure.

Suppression repair continues in all areas affected by suppression activities. Organization is currently being right-sized for incoming Type 3 team. Transition will occur on 6/27/22 at 6 pm.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Minimal movement expected.

24 hours: Minimal movement expected.

48 hours: Minimal movement expected.

72 hours: Minimal movement expected.

Anticipated after 72 hours: Minimal movement expected.

Remarks

Transition to a type 3 team will be 6/27/22 at 6 pm.

A Black Fire Emergency Closure Order is in effect for areas of the Wilderness Ranger District on the Gila National Forest. The identified areas, and roads and trails therein, are closed to public access due to an uncontained wildfire.

The Gila National Forest has lifted fire restrictions on 6-24-22 at 8 am. For more information visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/gila

Road and trail closures are in effect throughout the fire area. Forest Service Road 150 is closed to public access approximately 2 miles north of its junction with Highway 35 at the North Star Helispot.

The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) boundary can be viewed at:

Visit https://www.tfr.faa.gov for more information. Drone flights are also prohibited within this area.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Early morning showers over the south end of the fire for the second consecutive morning on Sunday. Rainfall totals for the previous 24 hours on the four IRAWs sites on the south end of the fire are impressive, ranging from 0.81" to 1.03". Humidity levels are staying up, with excellent overnight recoveries above 95 percent this morning. The afternoon brought another round of showers and thunderstorms over the fire. The thick clouds and scattered rain kept the fire weather conditions quite moderated, with cooler than normal temperatures and high afternoon humidity.

For the week ahead: The fire stays within the monsoonal moisture plume, but high pressure nudging in from the east may push the focus of the deep moisture west of the fire. Still, despite somewhat reduced chances, we still expect scattered showers and thunderstorms over the Black Range each afternoon and evening. Temperatures will be mostly steady, at or below seasonal averages. Humidity will drop slightly, but stay well above seasonal averages. Rain chances will fall from 60 to 40 percent, but the area is a known magnet for storms, so daily chances for storms over the high country looks good.