Large wildfire grows northwest of Silver City

El Paso News

Courtesy of Gila National Forest agency

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A wildfire has grown to more than 40,000 acres in the Gila Wilderness in the Gila National forest Northwest of Silver City.

Officials with the Gila National Forest say a wildfire named the Johnson Fire has fed off of Ponderosa Pine and grass in the forest area. There are 179 individuals using various large vehicles and equipment to battle the blaze.

The fire is about 11 miles west of The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, according to a news release from the Gila National Forest agency.

On Sunday crews patrolled control lines along the northern and eastern edges of the fire. Officials say the fire has moderate activity that creeps, backs and has scattered torching.

“The southern portion of the fire will be monitored by air operations,” a news release read. “Control line preparations in EE Canyon continue as fire managers wait for favorable conditions to initiate burn-out operations.”

Park officials say the Gila Cliff Dwellings National monument is closed and will remain so indefinitely. The West Fork Gila River trail networks and the Middle Fork Trail are also closed due to the fiery conditions.

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