Early Fire Season
With warm and dry weather trending, the Gila National Forest is experiencing an increase in wildfire ignitions. The SU Canyon Fire near Reserve, was reported on February 13, burning a slash disposal sight and seven acres of grasslands. Fire behavior was light and fire personnel quickly contained the fire. The McComas Peak
Fire was reported the afternoon of February 15 and grew to a quarter acre, burning in piñon, juniper, and grass. The fire was declared out early the following morning. Both fires were humancaused and are currently under investigation.
Several other fires on private lands have been reported, indicating the need for high awareness of the potentially volatile fire situation.
Taking precautions with fire means leaving campfires only when cold enough to put your hand in the ashes, taking care not to drive on cured grass, disposing of stove and grill ash by soaking it in water, and welding only in an area devoid of all flammable material. Do not attempt any use of fire on windy days.
“We are in fire season right now,” reiterates Kelly Russell, Forest Supervisor for the Gila National Forest. “We experienced a very tragic fire season last year. We cannot afford more lives lost. We need everyone to do their part in preventing fires.”
Information on fire preparedness can be found at firewise.org and wildlandfirersg.org. Additionally, local fire personnel are participating in the Silver City/Grant County Symposium on Preparedness on March 7 and 8, 2014, and encourages the public to attend. Please see scneighborsalliance.com for details.
For additional information, please contact the Gila National Forest at 575-3888201.