Bear Trap Fire experiences less fire spread in past 24 hours – May 16th UPDATE
Release Date: May 16, 2022
Acres: 13,504 acres
Total Personnel: 540
Start Date: May 1, 2022
Location: San Mateo Mountains, Magdalena Ranger District, Socorro County, NM
Fuels: Pine, Pinyon-Juniper and Grass
Highlights: Despite exceptionally dry conditions, higher than normal temperatures, and increasing winds, the Bear Trap Fire experienced less spread in the past 24 hours. Firefighters continue to monitor fire activity to evaluate fire behavior and develop strategies to contain the fire as it advances further to the southwest. An operational briefing video explaining details of the Bear Trap Fire operations is available on the Cibola National Forest Facebook page.
Operations: Firefighters are continuing to suppress and control the fire, prioritizing firefighter and public safety while protecting and minimizing damage to valuable resources. In the northern areas of the fire, fire activity has decreased, containment lines are still holding, and areas previously burned by prescribed fires and wildfires continue to limit fire spread. This success in the north is allowing firefighters to focus on scouting the southern areas of the fire, where the fire continues to slowly back down the slopes. In these areas, crews are monitoring spread, improving roads, and constructing control lines to connect into natural barriers to stop the fire as it spreads to the southwest. More resources arrived yesterday, with some crews working throughout the night to provide 24-hour coverage over the fire. Just before dark, a small aerial ignition operation was conducted on the west side of Grassy Lookout near Hudson Canyon to help remove fuel ahead of the main fire.
Weather: Temperatures remain higher than normal, and yesterday’s temperatures were the warmest since the fire started. Winds are expected to pick up this afternoon bringing gusts from the southwest and west, accompanied by continued hot and very dry conditions.
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 (order 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 webpage contains 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.
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