New Mexico fire becomes largest in state history

Whitewater-Baldy torching, May 28, 2012

Whitewater-Baldy, May 28, 2012. USFS photo

The Whitewater-Baldy fire grew by another 18,000 acres yesterday to 170,272 acres, becoming the largest in the recorded history of New Mexico, surpassing last year’s Las Conchas fire which blackened 156,593 acres. The Wallow fire last year was the largest in Arizona history. It burned 538,049 acres and destroyed 32 residences.

A person has to wonder. Is this going to be the new norm — frequent record-setting fires, while the number of federal firefighters and air tankers continue to shrink?

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About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+

4 thoughts on “New Mexico fire becomes largest in state history

  1. Quick update, we live close to the fire. Smoke has been very heavy in the morning, usually clears out by noon or so. Today, noy so much. Last night the fire was really active.

  2. Where can I find out what percentage of the Whitewater fire was in the crown? I would imagine if most of the fire is burning near the ground that would be a good thing?

    • Steve,

      After the fire is contained/controlled, you can find the info you are looking for in the BAER Assessment Report. It is often part of the “Fire Severity” assessment within the document.

      Most likely, you’ll have to request a copy of it from the Gila NF if it isn’t posted somewhere online.

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