May 23, 2022 Daily Update
SOUTHWEST AREA INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM
TEAM 4 – AARON HULBURD – INCIDENT COMMANDER
Acres: 24,243 acres
Total Personnel: 642
Start Date: May 1, 2022
Location: San Mateo Mountains, Magdalena Ranger District, Socorro County, NM
Fuels: Pine, Pinyon-Juniper and Grass
Highlights: The Southwest Area Incident Management Team 4 will transfer command of the Bear Trap Fire to California Team 10 at 6:00 AM on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. This is the final update from Southwest Team 4. The incoming team will continue to post operational briefing videos explaining details of the Bear Trap Fire operations on the Cibola National Forest Facebook page. Southwest Team 4 extends its sincere thanks to the local communities for their support and hospitality throughout this incident.
Operations: Firefighters are diligently patrolling control lines on foot, in vehicles, and by air to ensure that fire does not threaten the containment perimeter. As crews continue to seek out and extinguish any remaining heat sources, less smoke is visible over the fire area each day. While firefighters on the ground are reinforcing control lines, a “firing boss” is leading aerial ignition operations from a helicopter. The firing boss coordinates ignitions inside the planned boundaries, slowly removing vegetation from the ridgetops down to the constructed lines staffed by the ground resources. These firefighters are working together to prioritize their safety while minimizing the effects of fire on the landscape. Resource Advisors are closely monitoring all ignitions and suppression repair activities to ensure that sensitive resources are protected.
Weather: West-southwest winds will increase today ahead of an approaching cold front. These winds will remain gusty throughout the day before switching to the west-northwest this evening. Temperatures will warm into the 70s and humidity will drop by early afternoon. Cloud cover will increase through the day, likely becoming cloudy by late afternoon.
Closures and Restrictions: The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands (NF & NGs) have now issued an updated fire area, road and trail closure (No. 03-0728) to protect public health and safety during fire operations on the Bear Trap Fire. This closure order expands the previous closure area to provide for continued firefighter safety during wildland fire suppression and emergency operations. This order supersedes the previous order No. 03-0726. Based on high fire danger and severe fire weather conditions, the Cibola NF & NGs have also implemented Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on the Magdalena Ranger District (No. 03-0724). Both closure orders and maps are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/cibola/alerts-notices.
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. More information on the dangers drones pose to wildland firefighting aircraft and personnel on the ground can be found at https://www.nifc.gov/drones/.
Smoke: Smoke from the Bear Trap Fire and other nearby fires may be visible in the areas of Alamo, Datil, Magdalena, Socorro, Winston, 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: nmtracking.org. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.
Future Fire Information: 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, Cibola NF & NGs website, Facebook and Twitter pages, the NM Fire Information website.
Email: email@example.com • Phone: (928) 362-2906 • Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM