Early Fire Sea­son

Catron Courier - - News -

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.

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