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Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire Continues to Grow, but at Slower Rate

33.3N 108.7W

June 4th, 2012 Category: Fires

USA - June 1st, 2012

Smoke from the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire, also known as the Gila Wilderness blaze, creates a large, grey cloud in the upper left quadrant of this image of New Mexico, USA. The fire continues to grow in the Gila National Forest, but at a slower rate.

The Whitewater Baldy Fire grew to 241,701 acres but crews are inching their way towards containment and the fire was 17 percent contained on Sunday. Firefighters made good progress Saturday on the northeastern portions of the fire and patrols were monitoring that section of the fire on Sunday.

Along the southwest boundary, the fire moved sluggishly through the lower slopes and produced minimal short duration smoke columns. Reduced fire behavior was observed as the fire moved into gentle sloping hills of piñon and juniper. The fire in the southeastern section continued to slow.

On Sunday, firefighters were scouting the area along Gila Mountain Trail and the Middle Fork River for potential control lines. They were also building a contingency line a safe distance east of the fires edge, in the event extreme fire behavior pushed the fire to the east. They also worked on strengthening containment lines south of Mogollon. The Catron County Sheriff s Office has lifted the evacuation order in Mogollon and is opening the community to residents and business owners today and were expecting to open the community to the public on Wednesday.

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