Southwest Area Incident Management Team (IMT) 4 was ordered by the Coronado National Forest on July 2 to manage a fire located in the Peloncillo Mountains, in southwestern New Mexico. The lightning-caused fire was reported on June 29th, and the decision was made to bring in the IMT to help with the logistical challenges of managing the incident.
The IMT assumed command of the 4,500 acre fire at 6 am on July 4th. Their objectives were to build control lines around three sides of the fire to prevent further spread while allowing the fire to burn to the south to improve forest health. Firefighters took active structure protection measures around ranches and properties adjacent to the fire.
Resources were assigned to cover initial attack duties on the Douglas Ranger District, and those resources did assist New Mexico State Forestry to suppress a lightning caused fire in the Animas River Valley. While work was being done to achieve objectives, significant rainfall was recorded within the fire area. This resulted in reduced fire activity and necessitated a change in strategy for operations.
The Southwest Area Incident Management Team 4 will be transitioning the Miller Fire back to the local unit tomorrow morning at 6 am. The local incident commander is working with the IMT to identify resources needed to monitor the fire and respond to any new ignitions.
“We are going to work with the incoming incident commander to ensure they are set up for success after our team leaves,” said incident commander Carl Schwope.
Most of the crews will be demobilizing from the incident today. The remaining crews will continue to monitor the fire and be ready to respond with initial attack on any new ignitions. The UAS group will stay with the local resources to provide aerial situational awareness. This will be the last written update from the Southwest Area Incident Management Team.
Total personnel: 227
Start Date: June 29
Location: Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico
Fuels: Timber, brush and grass
NM Fire Information: https://nmfireinfo.com/