New Mexico: Silver Fire

(UPDATE at 8:15 a.m. MDT, June 29, 2013)

Map of the Silver Fire at 3:18 a.m. MDT, June 29, 2013. The red areas were the most recently burned. (click to enlarge)
Map of the Silver Fire at 3:18 a.m. MDT, June 29, 2013. The red areas were the most recently burned. (click to enlarge)

The heat signatures captured by a satellite at 3:18 Saturday morning, shown in the map above, indicate that the Silver Fire spread several miles to the northwest over the last 24 hours.

Below is an update on the fire from the Incident Management Team, late Friday night:

Silver Fire June 28th PM Update- The Silver Fire continues to burn toward Reeds Peak to the NW and North. The South and East flanks of the fire are out and cold. The containment is 35%. The extreme weather has passed but the potential still exists for extreme fire behavior. The weather forecast calls for 20% chance of Thunderstorms with potential for dry lightning and a slight chance for wetting rain. Structure protection continues in the Cooney area.


(Originally published at 1:30 p.m. MDT, June 28, 2013)

Siliver Fire 6 am June 28, 2013 NWS photo by Tom Bird
Caption by the National Weather Service: “Words are hard to come by to express the nearly unbelievable nature of this photo. This shows a fully developed column off the Silver fire…BEFORE sunrise. The fire NEVER laid down last night. Intense and extreme fire behavior continued through the night. The Incident Commander asked the 100+ crew supervisors, with a couple thousand combined years of firefighting experience, how many of them had seen this before in their career. Only a handful had. This fire is exhibiting fire behavior that has never been seen in this part of the country.”   (click to enlarge)

The Silver Fire in southwest New Mexico exhibited EXTREME fire behavior late Thursday into early Friday morning. Pushed by a strong east wind it spread in a direction that was contrary to its usual movement and blackened about 10,000 more acres, bringing the total to 101,311. The Incident Commander is calling it 20 percent contained. While heavy smoke socked in the Mimbres Valley, the majority of fire growth occurred on the northwestern side of the fire. The east side near Winston did not have much activity Thursday and Thursday night.

The weather Friday will be slightly less dry, but conditions remain extreme. An upper ridge weather system will move in today, slowly moving smoke away, and allowing clouds to form. There is an opportunity for dry lightning this weekend, and a slight potential for precipitation on Monday.

Map of Silver Fire
Map of Silver Fire at 2:40 a.m. MDT, June 28, 2013, showing heat detected by a satellite. The red areas were the most recently burned. (click to enlarge)

And at 8:57 a.m. Friday, the National Weather Service out of El Paso sent this tweet:


Silver Fire
Silver Fire as seen June 17 from Incident Command Post
wrapping cabin on Silver Fire
Lolo Engine 416 beginning the process of wrapping a cabin on the Silver Fire to protect it from radiated heat and embers from the fire, undated InciWeb photo

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

5 thoughts on “New Mexico: Silver Fire”

  1. When was this fire contained? Doing a small presentation on forest fires in Gila National Forest and I cant find much information on the Silver fire… Thank you!

  2. Yes, Bill, thanks. Day before yesterday our cell phones rang at the same time – reverse 911 calls re health warnings due to smoke and ash. This is a tough fire and I thank all the firefighters who are working on it.

  3. live near the Silver Fire in NM – you had the latest news and the best most informative map. Official site is “stuck” because too many of us are trying to find out the latest news…so thank you.


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