Firefighters Face Challenges From Red Flag Winds

Diener Canyon Fire Statistics                                 Bluewater Fire Statistics

Start date:  April 12, 2018                                          Start date:  April 12, 2018

Size:  6,682 acres                                                        Size:  2,532 acres

Location: Mount Sedgwick                                        Location:  Salitre Mesa      Cause: spot fires from Redondo Prescribed Burn   Cause:  abandoned campfire 

Containment:  20%                                                      Containment:  10%


Total Resources  

Diener Canyon:  3 helicopters, 17 engines, 2 water tenders, 4 T1 crews, 3 T2 crews, 304 persons

Bluewater:  1 T1 crew, 3 engines, 3 dozers, 1 water tender, 36 persons

Yesterday (4/15/18) firefighters continued the burn out operation on the east flank of the Diener Canyon Fire, along Forest Road (FR) 425.  The burn out has resulted in a wide containment line, as six to ten inch flames slowly consumed light to moderate forest vegetation. This line is designed to prevent any fire from moving to the east toward Bluewater Village and La Jara subdivision, as a result of predicted strong, gusty winds from the southwest.  Crews mopped up and patrolled the fire edge along FR 178.

Fire crews completed confinement lines on the northwest corner of the Bluewater Fire, stopping movement of fire toward Bluewater Acres, but fire remained active in windrows of uprooted juniper trees on the north side of the fire.  A heavy helicopter dropped water on burning fuel, assisting firefighters as they suppressed the flames.

Today crews will continue the burn out along FR 425 east of the Diener Canyon Fire, bringing the containment line south to tie in to FR 480.  Firefighters will patrol and mop up along FR 178, and may use aerial ignition to clean up unburned areas if necessary, weather permitting.  Structure Protection crews will continue assessing prevention needs.

Firefighters will patrol the fire’s edge around the Bluewater Fire, putting out hotspots wherever they find them.  Fire is still active on the northeast corner, and helicopters will be used to keep the fire in check, weather permitting.

Winds are predicted to be southwest 15 to 25 mph, with gusts to 25+ mph this afternoon. Strong wind may prevent use of aircraft in the afternoon.

Pre-evacuations:  All pre-evacuation orders have been rescinded, and the evacuation center located at Grants High School has been closed.

Air Quality:  Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at

Closures:  A closure order has been issued for the Forest in the area of the wildfires.  Bluewater Lake State Park is also closed to the public.  A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire area is in place.  Operating a drone or unmanned aerial vehicle in the TFR is also strictly forbidden, and dangerous to aircraft employed in fire suppression.

Community Meeting:  A community meeting will be convened on Tuesday, April 17, 5:30 PM in the auditorium of the old Cibola County Court House at 515 West High Street in Grants.  Status of the wild fire suppression efforts and related matters will be discussed.

Bluewater/Diener Canyon Fire Information: (575)322-6716 from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM    

Twitter: @cibola_nf                                                               NM Fire Info webpage:


Bluewater Fire - Inciweb:

Diener Canyon Fire - Inciweb: