| Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Temporarily Closed for Public Health and Safety and Johnson Fire OperationsNM Fire Info

Mimbres, NM, June 3, 2021-The Johnson Fire in the Gila National Forest burns within the confines of the Gila Wilderness. The National Park Service will close Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument (Cliff Dwellings) with effect from Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. and will remain in effect until further notice.

The Cliff Dwellings will be closed while the fire managers conduct a burn-out operation for the Johnson Fire. A copy of the closure order is attached to this press release and will be posted on both the Gila NF website and the Cliff Dwellings website (https://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm). Burn-out takes place west of the Cliff Dwellings in the Gila Wilderness along EE Canyon Trail 163. Burn-out is a fire suppression operation that involves setting a fire along the inside edge of a control line or natural barrier to consume unburned fuel between the lines and the fire zone. This reinforces a fire guideline and speeds up control efforts. The purpose of burnout is to reduce the risk of the Johnson Fire moving towards the Cliff Dwellings and the Gila Hot Springs community.

During burn-out operations, access to the Cliff Dwellings is restricted to firefighters only and there will be a temporary road closure at the intersection of NM Hwy 15 and the road leading to the Cliff Dwellings Contact Center.

Together with the closure of the Cliff Dwellings, Middle Fork Trail # 157 has now been added to the list of road closures. This trail block extends from the Middle Fork Trailhead near the Gila Visitor Center to The Meadows at the intersection of Meadows Trail # 53. There are road closures in the area west of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Before you go, do some research and check out maps and fire information on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7493/.

The reason for these closings is for the health and safety of the visitors and to allow the firefighters to work freely from the use of visitors while they are administering the Johnson Fire.

For more information about these barriers, alternative routes through the Gila Wilderness, or fire updates, call 575-536-2250 (MF 8:00 PM – 4:00 PM) or 575-519-0103 (anytime between 7:00 AM and 7:00 a.m.). : 00 o’clock). The number for the Gila Cliff Dwellings is 575-536-9461 and their voicemail is active and calls are being returned.

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