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Whitewater Baldy Complex Fire Now 37 Percent Contained

33.3N 108.7W

June 12th, 2012 Category: Fires

USA - June 11th, 2012

Crews continued on Monday to patrol the perimeter of the nearly 280,000-acre Whitewater Baldy Fire (upper right quadrant), in New Mexico, USA, mopping up where needed and cutting off any pockets of fire found along containment lines. The fire is now 37% contained (click here for previous images of the blaze), although other fires can still be burning in other parts of the state (see lower half of image).

The Whitewater Baldy Fire burned in several drainage basins within the Mogollon Mountain Range in the Gila Wilderness. Burned drainage basins are subject to flooding, erosion, mud and debris flows, landslides and other earth movement because the protective cover of vegetation is missing that normally intercepts rainfall and holds the soil in place.

Until vegetation becomes reestablished in the burned area, water and debris will run off at an increased rate in adjacent drainages. Depending on the intensity and amount of rainfall, the drainages may not be able to withstand the water and debris, and flooding may occur. Homes, businesses and other downstream values will be at increased risk until vegetation returns to the burned landscape.

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