Firefighters hope to gain the upper hand on the Bear Springs Fire with burnout operations today.
The fire, which began at 6:36 p.m. June 3 is burning in the Jemez Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest, six miles northeast of Ponderosa and six mile southeast of Jemez Springs.
A lightning strike caused the fire, which has burned 400 acres of mixed conifer and ponderosa pine to date.
The fire is 10 percent contained as 190 personnel including four Type 1 crews, three Type 2 crews, three engines, one Type 1 helicopter, three Type 3 helicopters, two water tenders and two dozers battle the blaze.
Farm Road 266 and the Paliza Campground are closed.
Fire Restrictions: Forest users are reminded that Stage 1 fire restrictions remain in place on the entire Santa Fe National Forest, the Valles Caldera National Preserve, and NM Dept. of Game and Fish lands.
Summary: Yesterday, crews prepared indirect containment lines for today’s activity, which will consist of introducing fire on ridge tops north of the fire, and allowing the fire to back slowly downhill to the indirect containment lines.
This tactic, called a burnout, will be used to reduce or remove fuel in advance of the fire front, leaving little or nothing to burn.
The burnout tactic will be of lower intensity to minimize resource damage as well as to protect cultural resources of critical concern to the Jemez Pueblo.
Crews will thoroughly patrol the western perimeter and the mixed conifer stands to the north of the fire, diligently searching for spot fires which could ignite heavy fuels. Heli-tankers are available today to drop retardant on spot fires, if necessary.
Southeast winds this morning will switch to the southwest this afternoon, and chance of thunderstorms or precipitation is virtually nonexistent. Breezy west to southwest winds and humidity in the single digits will continue over the next couple of days. Today is the best opportunity to complete the burnout operations.
Successful execution of this operation will be a great stride toward containment of the fire.
Transport winds this afternoon will be from the southwest, causing smoke to drift to the northeast. Information on wildland fire smoke and your health can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at:http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/documents/Health_Effects_Smoke_06152010.pdf.