May 14, 2022 Daily Update
Acres: 9,563 acres
Start date: May 1, 2022
Total staff: 483
Location: San Mateo Mountains, Magdalena Ranger District, Socorro County, New Mexico
Fuels: Pine, pinyon-juniper and grass
Strong points: The Southwest Area 4 Type 2 Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Aaron Hulburd, assumed command of the Bear Trap Fire at 6:00 a.m. this morning, Saturday, May 14, 2022. The Type 2 Incident Management provides additional resources and management capabilities needed to implement a comprehensive Bear Trap Fire suppression strategy.
Operations: As the Type 2 team takes command, firefighters will develop strategies to completely contain the fire while protecting valuable resources in the area, including natural and cultural resources and infrastructure. At the northwest end of the fire, there is smoke well inside the line of fire, but fire activity is expected to remain relatively calm today. In the southwest area of the fire, fire activity could resume in the early evening as winds begin to push the canyon. On the southeast side, the fire should continue to be active throughout the day. Rising temperatures and historically dry conditions will continue to challenge firefighters throughout the week. Crews were successful in limiting fire spread to the north, east and west along previous prescribed fire scars to the northwest and wildfire scars to the northeast (2016 North Fire) and to the east (2015 Red Canyon Fire). Firefighters are working to identify containment options using the existing road network and these old fire scars.
Weather: Temperatures are climbing about 10 degrees above normal. Extremely dry air will continue today and tomorrow. Winds will be light today becoming slightly gusty by Sunday afternoon. Stronger afternoon winds are expected on Monday, further heightening concerns about the fires.
Closures: The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands (NF and NG) have issued a fire area closure, road and trail closure to protect public health and safety during fire operations on the Bear Trap Fire. The full closure order (No. 03-0726) and the map are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/cibola/alerts-notices.
Restrictions: Based on the high fire danger and severe fire weather conditions, Cibola NF and NG have implemented Phase 2 fire restrictions in mountain districts including Magdalena Ranger District. The complete command (No. 03-0724) and the map are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/cibola/alerts-notices.
Security: The health and safety of firefighters and the public is always the first priority. Members of the public should stay away from Bear Trap Fire operations. A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the area, which includes unmanned aircraft or drones. For more information on the dangers drones pose to wildfire-fighting aircraft and ground personnel, visit: https://www.nifc.gov/drones/.
Smoke: Smoke from the Bear Trap Fire may be visible in the areas surrounding Alamo, Datil, Magdalena, Socorro and San Antonio, NM. People sensitive to smoke and people with respiratory problems or heart conditions are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health’s Environmental Public Health Tracking website: nmtracking.org. An interactive smoke map to https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.
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