Fireground Management, Wildland Firefighting

New Mexico Wildfire Will Test Fire Management

The fire in the Gila National Forest (NM) — the largest currently burning in the country — has proved challenging to firefighters.  But for land managers and scientists, the record-setting fire represents a true test of decades of work aimed at returning fire to its natural role on the landscape, reports USA Today (

The newspaper reports that starting in the early 1970s, the Gils has lead the way in implementing active fire management strategy. Instead of immediately dousing flames in the wilderness, forest managers have let them burn as long as conditions were favorable.

The question that this fire is expected to answer is whether that strategy will pay off with more natural, less intense fires.