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Images of the Silver Fire - Heli-Rappellers & Field Repair at Mimbres Valley Airstrip - Black Range of the Gila National Forest
The Salmon Heli-Rappellers are made up of 41 highly trained wildland firefighters prepared to operate in all the roles of helibase operations and as aerially delivered firefighters. The crew contracts four helicopters; one type III Long Ranger and two type II Bell Super 205s, and one S-64e Sky Crane. The crew is relied upon to fill a variety of suppression and support roles which include rappelling for fire suppression, helispot construction, personnel and gear transport, helibase duties, and helping with management projects. During early spring and late fall the crew can be found implementing prescribed fires and will be working on forest projects. Some of these include wilderness trail construction, tree thinning, and fencing. –text via http://www.salmonheli-rappellers.com/
Battle for Kingston – As the Silver Fire looms a quarter mile away, Crew bosses convene in the Kingston firehouse to establish new fire fighting strategies and revise trigger points. Unusually low morning humidity levels and strong winds prompted the bosses, working the eastern slope of the Black Range, to quickly assemble as the fire moved towards Kingston. Huddled around a card table covered in maps, each boss gave their perspective on the fire’s movement and possible defense strategies. Within 45 minutes, a new plan was in place. Aside from cutting fire protection lines around the perimeter of the town, fire crews cleared dry vegetation surrounding homes and established a network of sprinklers to dampen parched lawns and home exteriors. Back burns were set in the hills surrounding town as firefighters and water tenders stood ready. The crews’ hard fought efforts paid off; as of this morning, residents of Kingston were allowed to return home. No major structural damage to the historic community was reported. Kingston, Sierra County, NM
Silver Fire Update – Today the weather is transitioning from a mild moist air mass that has been over the Black Range for several days and will be replaced with hot dry air, strong winds and low humidity. The previous days’ favorable weather conditions allowed firefighters to make progress on construction of 3 miles of containment line. The 23,200 acre fire remains at five percent containment. There are now 586 firefighters working the fire including five helicopters, eight 20-person hotshot crews, five 20-person hand crews, 16 engines, two dozers, 11 water tenders and multiple aircraft. To ensure public safety, the Aldo Leopold Wilderness has been closed east of NM State Highway 152 from the Continental Divide National ScenicTrail #74 south to Reeds Peak. NM State Highway 152 from San Lorenzo to Hillsboro remains closed. Trail #79 and the Royal John Mine Road are also closed for public safety. For more information see http://fs.usda.gov/gila or www.nmroads.com. - Map and text via InciWeb | Photos via NMBR Silver Fire Photos in order: HWY 152 above South Percha, Gallinas Canyon, Mimbres River Valley
Pronghorn Overland Gear unveiled their new sub-50 pound bumper for JK Wrangler at this year's Overland Expo. The marine grade aluminum constructed bumper offers 18 different configurations including removable side wings, two different winch mounting options, eight headlight/grill guard options and five recovery points. The company plans to release a matching rear bumper in the near future. MORE INFO HERE
Ghost Divide Expedition [Original] – Overland to the Expo - Sunday, May 15th -19th, 2016&
Ghost Divide Expedition II – Overland from the Expo - Monday, May 23rd - 27th, 2016
Two separate Ghost Divide Expeditions will be offered for 2016. The Ghost Divide Expedition [Original] will take place the week before Overland Expo WEST, departing from Southern New Mexico and ending at the Overland Expo WEST. The Ghost Divide Expedition II will take place the week after Overland Expo WEST, departing from Mormon Lake, AZ and ending in Southern New Mexico. Overview & Invite: New Mexico Backroads will be guiding two separate five day [500-mile] expeditions that will traverse some of New Mexico and Arizona’s loneliest backroads. The Ghost Divide Expedition [Original] will lead to the 2016 Overland Expo WEST; the Ghost Divide Expedition II will lead from the 2016 Overland Expo WEST. Both Ghost Divide Expeditions will follow the same route. Over two-thirds of the Ghost Divide Expeditions route will be comprised of unpaved roads. The Ghost Divide Expeditions will provide a demanding [yet rewarding] experience—the days will be long, the roads will be unforgiving, and the pace will be brisk. The Ghost Divide Expeditions will require participants to be self-supportive with regards to vehicle, equipment, and supplies. All nights will include camping and enjoying the company of fellow overlanders, deep in the backcountry. Services of any kind, including cell, fuel, or anything remotely civilized, will be unavailable for stretches of up to 225-miles. For the Ghost Divide Expeditions, New Mexico Backroads seeks the most self-sufficient, open-minded, and good spirited overlanders.
Where & When: Full details to be announced! Preparations: In the time leading up to the Ghost Divide Expeditions, participants [or Ghost Dividers] will be provided with helpful information on how to prepare for the adventure and what to expect. An extensive list of essential and recommended supplies/equipment/gear will be provided accompanied with advice, tips, and tricks. The self sufficient aspect of NMBR guided expeditions [and other 4WD based adventures] challenges and prepares participants for their future 4WD based endeavors—to go boldly, prepared, and with confidence. The Experience: The 500-mile Ghost Divide Expeditions will include a diverse range of scenery and terrain including desert, grassland, chaparral, forest, rivers, canyons, creeks, lakes, and wildland burn scars. Road types and conditions will include canyon bottom narrows, washboards, rutted two tracks, primitive non-maintained, graded, mountain shelf, and [least of all] paved highway. The Ghost Divide Expeditions will feature outstanding vistas, dozens of water crossings, historic landmarks, wildlife viewing opportunities [including Mexican grey wolf territory], and aggressive elevation contours [between 4,000 and 9,600 feet].
This year’s Ghost Divide Expeditions route will be the longest, roughest and best yet. For those that join in, the only guarantee is that they will conclude their adventure with new friends, dirty rigs, big smiles, and stories that will make their fellow overlanders envious.
For Ghost Divide Expeditions photos, please visit NMBR’s online gallery HERE
Video sneak peak HERE
Please Email [NMBackroads at Gmail.com] for full Ghost Divide Expeditions details, cost and registration information.
Photo’s From Top: Land Rover Defender 90, Field Vehicle Repair & Welding Class, Camel Trophy Land Rover Defender 110, HD Dual Beadlocks, Land Rover Defender 90, Triumph Motorcycles Scrambler 900, American Expedition Vehicles Built JK Wrangler equipped with 6.4L VVT V8 Hemi - Mormon Lake, Arizona