Excessive winds could hamper firefighter efforts

April 17, 2018   10:30 AM

Diener Canyon Fire Statistics                         Bluewater Fire Statistics

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

Size: 8001 acres                                                 Size: 2526 acres

Location:   Mount Sedgewick                           Location:   Salitre Mesa

Cause: Spot fires from Redondo Rx Burn       Cause:   Abandoned campfire

Containment:   35%                                           Containment:   10%

Total Resources 

Diener Canyon:  3 helicopters, 19 engines, 5 water tenders, 4 T1 crews, 4 T2 crews, 345 persons. 

Bluewater:  1 T2 crew, 3 engines, 3 dozers, 1 water tender, 37 persons

Yesterday, firefighters completed containment lines along Deiner Canyon continuing into the eastern portion of Redondo Canyon along Forest Road (FR) 480. Low relative humidity and high winds increased flame lengths and fire intensity in the SW interior of the Diener Canyon Fire with black smoke visible from I40. The fire activity stayed within containment lines. Red Flag warnings during the daylight hours have compelled managers to conduct burn out operations at night. Night burnout operations helped reduce fuels on the eastern side of the fire from FR 425 to FR 480 aiding containment objectives. Firefighters will continue to secure the NW and E side of the fire using hand dug line and burn out operations.

Crews are patrolling FR 480 and FR 425 to protect Bluewater Village and La Jara subdivision.

Log piles and other fuels on the N side of the Bluewater Fire continue to burn. Fire managers expect the fire to grow towards the NE along the Reynold Draw; however; lack of fuels on the rimrock to the NE and SE should act as a natural firebreak. Potential still exists for spotting across the rimrock. Firefighters will use full suppression tactics to keep the fires from moving off public lands to protect the communities of Bluewater Acres, Bluewater Village, and Bluewater State Park.

Today, crews on the Diener Canyon Fire will patrol and hold the containment line along FR 178, patrol and hold the burn out operations. Crews on the Bluewater Fire will continue to construct direct and indirect hand lines on the N side of the fire and from the west side of the fire to FR 178.

Current Red Flag weather conditions will contribute to dangerous firefighting conditions. High winds will limit the use of aircraft during initial attack. Firefighters could be exposed to erratic fire behavior and the potential of falling trees while on the fireline. Fire operations will temporarily cease if the safety of firefighters is compromised.

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 https://nmtracking.org/fire.

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 tonight, 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:  nmfireinfo.com

Gmail: bdcfires@gmail.com                         Facebook: www.facebook.com/cibolanf/

Bluewater Fire – Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5741/

Diener Canyon Fire – Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5742/