May 23, 2022 Daily Update
SOUTH-WEST AREA INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM
TEAM 4 – AARON HULBURD – INCIDENT COMMANDER
Acres: 24,243 acres
Total staff: 642
Start date: May 1, 2022
Location: San Mateo Mountains, Magdalena Ranger District, Socorro County, New Mexico
Fuels: Pine, pinyon-juniper and grass
Strong points: The Southwest Area 4 Incident Management Team will transfer command of the Bear Trap Fire to California Team 10 at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. This is the final update from the South Team -west 4. The incoming team will continue to post operational information and briefing videos explaining details of Bear Trap Fire operations on the Cibola National Forest Facebook page. Southwest Team 4 expresses its sincere thanks to the local communities for their support and hospitality throughout this incident.
Operations: Firefighters are diligently patrolling the lines of control on foot, in vehicles and by air to ensure that the fire does not threaten the containment perimeter. As crews continue to search for and extinguish any remaining heat sources, less smoke is visible above the fire area each day. While firefighters on the ground reinforce lines of control, a “fire chief” directs aerial firefighting operations from a helicopter. The fire chief coordinates ignitions within planned boundaries, slowly clearing vegetation from the top of ridges to constructed lines managed by ground resources. These firefighters work together to prioritize their safety while minimizing the effects of the fire on the landscape. Resource Advisors closely monitor all ignition repair and removal activities to ensure that sensitive resources are protected.
Weather: West-southwesterly winds will increase today as a cold front approaches. These winds will remain gusty throughout the day before shifting to the west-northwest this evening. Temperatures will warm into the 70s and humidity will drop by early afternoon. Cloud cover will increase throughout the day, likely becoming cloudy by late afternoon.
Closures and restrictions: Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands (NF and NG) has now released an updated fire zone, road and trail closures (#03-0728) to protect health and safety of the public during the fire operations on the Bear Trap Fire. This closure order expands the previous closure area to ensure the continued safety of firefighters during wildfire suppression and emergency operations. This command replaces the previous command no. 03-0726. Based on the high fire danger and severe fire weather conditions, Cibola NF and NG have also implemented Phase 2 fire restrictions in the Magdalena Ranger District (#03-0724). Closing orders and maps are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/cibola/alerts-notices.
Security: The health and safety of firefighters and the public is 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. For more information on the dangers drones pose to wildfire-fighting aircraft and ground personnel, go to https://www.nifc.gov/drones/.
Smoke: Smoke from the Bear Trap Fire and other nearby fires may be visible in the Alamo, Datil, Magdalena, Socorro, Winston and San Antonio, NM areas. People sensitive to smoke and people with respiratory problems or heart conditions are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health is available on the New Mexico Department of Health’s Environmental Public Health Tracking website: nmtracking.org. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ lets you zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.
Information on future fires: The Bear Trap Fire Information phone number and email address will remain the same after the transition to California Team 10. Future fire information will continue to be posted on InciWeb, the Cibola NF & NGs website , Facebook and Twitter pages, NM’s fire information website.
E-mail: [email protected] • Call: (928) 362-2906 • Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.