Tadpole Fire at 11,159 acres in Gila National Forest, 100% contained

New Mexico News

Final Update on July 8

Picture of Tadpole fire at 1730 6/18/2020 200 feet above highway 180 just outside Santa Clara (Arenas Valley).

SILVER CITY, N.M. (KRQE) – The National Forest Service has reported a fire broke out on National Forest System lands on the Silver City Ranger District in the Gila National Forest on Saturday, June 6. The fire was reportedly caused by lightning.

  • Start Date: June 6, 2020
  • Location: Tadpole ridge, 12 miles north of Silver City
  • Containment: 100%
  • Size: 11,159 acres
  • Structures Threatened: None
  • Structures Burned: None
  • Evacuations: None
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Total Personnel: 19
  • Area Vegetation: Timber with grass understory, brush, and Chaparral
  • Estimated Containment Date: Saturday, July 18, 2020

The fire is located on the southwest portion of Tadpole Ridge on National Forest System lands. On Tuesday, a Burned Area Emergency Response team has been assigned to assess post-fire conditions for the Tadpole Fire, on the Silver City Ranger District in the Gila National Forest.

A spot fire occurred on the east side of Highway 15 north of Meadow Creek Road and has been suppressed. Currently, there is about 85 personnel working on this fire. Fire officials state the fire will continue to back down Wilson Creek however, the fire is not established in or near Bear Creek.

As of Friday, June 19, the Gila National Forest has issued a closure order for the area encompassing the Tadpole Fire and the order will remain in effect until August 30, 2020, or until it is rescinded.

The fire is expected to be contained by Saturday, July, 18. A campfire ban is in place in the Gila National Forest. Temporary Flight Restrictions are in place over the fire, restricting drone use.

On Thursday, June 25, fire crews report they will monitor the fire’s behavior along Wilson Creek and NM Highway 15. Officials state the fire is slowing as it meets light fuels and rock barriers. Residents of Grant County will continue to see smoke over the fire on Friday.

On Wednesday, July 1, fire officials say the southern end of the Tadpole Fire remains active with smoldering fire behavior. Fire crews are working in close coordination with a helicopter equipped with a bucket of water to cool hotspots near the fire line. Fire crews are closely monitoring the lines in Wilson Canyon. They continue to patrol the lines looking for hotspots. They also say road work continues on Highway 15 and rehabilitation efforts are occurring to minimize impacts of fire suppression efforts on the land. 

On Saturday, July 4, The National Forest Service said the fire had not advanced and that crews continue to monitor fire lines and check for hot spots. As of July 4, Highway 15 has been reopened.

Fire officials will monitor the fire’s behavior along Texas Mountain, Wilson Creek, and NM Highway 15 and will use direct suppression to stop fire spread. Crews expect the fire to stop moving in Wilson Creek.

The final update for the Tadpole fire has been issued on July 8, 2020. Gates are being installed at Sheep Corral Road and Trout Creek Road and Gila Forest officials urge the public not to go into the closure area as there are post-fire hazards.

Tadpole Fire. Courtesy of Forest Service.
Daily AQI Forecast-June 18, 2020. Courtesy of Forest Service

Map of 2020 Wildfires in New Mexico

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