May 28 Update 7 PM
Incident: Whitewater Baldy Complex Wildfire
For Immediate Release: May 28, 2012 7:00 p.m.
Whitewater-Baldy Complex Update
Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team
Incident Commander: Tony Sciacca
Fire Information: 575-533-6901, 575-533-6053 (Daily from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
Flickr (photos and maps): http://www.flickr.com/photos/gilaforest
Date Started: 05/16/2012
Number of Personnel: 1,112 personnel including
Location: Approximately 15 miles E of Glenwood, NM
14 hotshot crews, 13 hand crews
Equipment: 49 Engines, 23 Water Tenders, 7 Dozers
Aircraft: 9 Helicopters
Percent Contained: 0
Injuries to Date: Five
A community meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 29, at 6:00 pm at the Glenwood Community Center. The incident management team will provide updates on strategies and tactics for suppressing the Whitewater-Baldy Fire.
Structure protection and line prep continued in Willow Creek as well as reinforcement and burnout operations along Forest Road 141. Preventing the fire from crossing over the 141 road is critical to being able to actively suppress the fire in areas where the terrain is less rugged.
Forest Road 141 at the old sawmill
Forest Road 28 at Forest Road 94 junction (Collins Park)
State Route 159 at Whitewater Mesa
Forest Road 150 and Forest Road 142 junction (Beaverhead Work Center)
The Gila National Forest closed the Catwalk National Recreation Trail until further notice. Please visit the Gila National Forest Website at www.fs.usda.gov/gila for further details on this closure.
Before a wildfire approaches your home, evacuate your pets and all family members who are not essential to preparing the home. Anyone with medical or physical limitations and the young and elderly should be evacuated immediately. Remember the "P's of Evacuation"; People, Pets, Prescriptions, Papers, Pictures and Personal Computer. Refer to http://www.wildlandfirersg.org/ and http://www.nmfireinfo.com/ for additional information on emergency evacuations. Also, go to http://www.firewise.org/ and follow the link to homeowners to find interactive modules, videos, games and quizzes to learn about how wildfires behave and what you can do to make your home safer.
Light winds today combined with aerial support enabled firefighters to successfully complete a burnout operation along the southeast corner of the Mogollon community. Burnout operations are used to eliminate fuels between firelines and the main fire. The success was due to fire crews constructing and fortifying fire lines prior to the burnout operation.
Extremely low humidities (3-7%) attributed to more active fire behavior along the fire perimeter, especially on the southwest corner. Firefighters conducted aerial ignitions in the area to decrease the momentum of the main fire. When flames become established at the bottom of a slope they have the potential to race uphill quickly and intensely; to prevent this, ignition operations were applied to the ridge tops, forcing the fire to slowly back down the hill at a lower intensity to meet and slow the main fire. Last night's infra-red flight reflected a growth of almost 11,000 acres.
Public Safety Message:
The public is reminded that many roadblocks and trail closures remain in place. The New Mexico National Guard is now staffing roadblocks along the closure area. The road closures are in place not only for public safety, but also because of heavy fire traffic. Please drive safely along all roads and abide by all road closures.