Gila National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3005 E. Camino del Bosque
Silver City, NM 88061
Johnson Fire Activity Prompts Closures for Visitor Safety
Mimbres, NM, June 1, 2021— The Johnson Fire on the Wilderness Ranger District, Gila National Forest has burned 30, 826 acres. The fire is active and continues to burn in the Gila Wilderness. In response to the increased fire activity on the Johnson Fire, fire managers are implementing the following closures:
The West Fork Gila River trail network will be CLOSED to visitor use beginning June 1, 2021 until further notice, due to hazardous fire conditions in the area. Visitors are warned to keep off these trails for their personal safety and to not impede the work of firefighters managing the fire. These trails include:
West Fork Trail #151Trotter Trail #30West Fork Trail Shortcut #151AUpper West Fork Trail #815Lilley Park Trail #164Turkey Creek Trail # 155Little Bear Trail #729Sycamore Trail # 158Big Bear Trail #28Mogollon Creek Trail #153Woodland Park Trail #12Upper Mogollon Creek Trail #177Prior Creek #156Kemp Trail #301Ring Canyon Trail #162Granite Peak Trail #150EE Canyon Trail #163Little Creek C789utoff Trail # Little Creek Trail #161Horse Springs Trail #187Granny Mountain Trail #160 McKenna Creek Trail #167
Wilderness users are encouraged to find alternative routes through the Gila Wilderness. The Middle Fork of the Gila River Trail #157 is transitioning to DAY-USE ONLY beginning June 1, 2021. This action is being implemented to provide fire managers an opportunity to reach trail users in the event of increasing fire activity. The “day-use only” designation for the trail extends from the Middle Fork Trailhead near the Gila Visitor Center to The Meadows at the junction of Meadows Trail #53. For information regarding all these trail closures see Johnson Trail Closure Map that is posted on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7493/.
The Upper and Lower Scorpion Campgrounds near the Gila Cliff Dwellings will close Tuesday, June 1. These areas will be used for fire camp operations. The dispersed camping areas along Forest Road 4078U, locally known as the “Celebration Site” will close Tuesday June 1 to be used for fire camp operations. Other options for camping on the Wilderness Ranger District include Grapevine, Forks, Mesa, Upper End, and Sapillo Campgrounds.
A short-term closure of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument will occur when fire managers implement a burn-out operation along EE Canyon Trail #163 later this week as weather and fire conditions become favorable for burning. Burning out is a fire suppression operation where fire is set along the inside edge of a control line or natural barrier to consume unburned fuel between the line and the fire perimeter. This reinforces a fire control line and speeds up control efforts. During the burn-out operations access to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument will be restricted to fire personnel only and there will be a temporary road closure at the junction of NM Hwy 15 and the road leading to Gila Visitor Center.
For further information on these closures, alternate routes through the Gila Wilderness, or fire updates call 575-536-2250 (M-F 8:00 – 4:00 p.m.) or 575-519-0103 (any time between 7:00