Bear Trap Fire – May 14th UPDATE

Release Date: May 14, 2022

Southwest Area Type 2 Incident Management Team 4 Assumes Command of Bear Trap Fire

Acres: 9,563 acres
Start Date:  May 1, 2022
Cause: Undetermined
Containment: 31%
Total Personnel: 483
Location: San Mateo Mountains, Magdalena Ranger District, Socorro County, NM (Map)
Fuels: Pine, Pinyon-Juniper and Grass

Highlights: The Southwest Area Type 2 Incident Management Team 4, led by Incident Commander Aaron Hulburd, assumed command of the Bear Trap Fire at 6:00 AM this morning, Saturday, May 14, 2022. The Type 2 Incident Management Team brings additional resources and management capabilities to implement a full suppression strategy for the Bear Trap Fire.  

Operations: As the Type 2 team assumes command, firefighters will develop strategies to fully contain the fire while protecting valuable resources in the area, including natural and cultural resources and infrastructure. On the northwestern end of the fire, some smoke exists well inside the fire line, but fire activity is expected to remain relatively quiet today. In the southwestern area of the fire, fire activity may pick up in the early evening as winds start to push down canyon. On the southeastern side, fire should continue to be active throughout the day. Increasing temperatures and historically dry conditions will continue to challenge firefighters throughout the week. Crews have been 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 east (2015 Red Canyon Fire). Firefighters are working to identify containment options using the existing road system and these past fire scars. 

Weather: Temperatures are creeping upward to about 10 degrees warmer than normal. Critically dry air will continue today and tomorrow. Winds will be light today increasing to slightly breezy by Sunday afternoon. Stronger afternoon winds are expected on Monday, further elevating fire weather concerns.  

Closures: The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands (NF & NGs) have issued a fire area closure (No. 03-0726), road and trails closure to protect public health and safety during fire operations on the Bear Trap Fire.

Restrictions: Based on high fire danger and severe fire weather conditions, the Cibola NF & NGs implemented Stage 2 Fire Restrictions (No. 03-0724) on the mountain districts, including the Magdalena Ranger District. 

Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public are 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. The NIFC provides more information on the dangers drones pose to wildland firefighting aircraft and personnel on the ground.

Smoke: Smoke from the Bear Trap Fire may be visible in the surrounding areas of Alamo, Datil, Magdalena, Socorro, and San Antonio, NM. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health Environmental Public Health Tracking website. An interactive smoke map allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions. 

Fire updates are posted on InciWeb, Cibola NF & NGs website, Facebook and Twitter pages, the NM Fire Information website. 

Email: 2022.beartrap@firenet.gov   Phone: (928) 362-2906  Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM