Wildfire northwest of Silver City scorched 20,000 acres more land over a week


Graphic provided by the National Forest Service.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Fire crews continue their fight against a large wildfire northwest of Silver City in the Gila Wilderness and Gila National Forest.

National forest officials say the wildfire has grown to 63,551 acres, which is a little more than 20,000 acres more than what the blaze claimed last week. There are 158 individuals using helicopters, large vehicles and equipment to contain the blaze.

The wildfire began on May 20 and feeds of the Ponderosa Pine and grass found in the area. Crews say they have been able to contain 11 percent of the fire.

“Yesterday’s continued hot and dry conditions brought active burning activities to the northwest corner of the fire as it moved into the upper reaches of Gobbler Canyon and up toward Mogollon Baldy Lookout,” a news release said.

Officials with the National Forest Service say an emergency area closure order has been issued by the Gila National Forest for public health and safety reasons. Camping areas and gathering spots have also been closed.

Closed sites include: Upper and Lower Scorpion Campgrounds and the Celebration / Skates Canyon sites.

Fire restrictions are also being implemented and members of the public are only allowed to build them in designated developed campgrounds that are still open, picnic areas and they must be in a Forest Service provided metal grill or metal fire pit.

For camping, the National Forest Service says Forks, Grapevine, Mesa, Sapillo, and Upper End for camping on the Wilderness RD remain options. Those sites fill up quickly, so, members of the public may also look into areas around the Wilderness RD, which include Black Canyon (Upper & Lower) and the Rocky Canyon Campgrounds.

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