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Thompson Ridge; Tres Lagunas Fire Updates - Morning of June 5

on June 5, 2013 - 11:21am

THOMPSON RIDGE FIRE UPDATE

Wednesday June 5, 2013 9 a.m.

Acres: 9,394

Start date: May 31, 2013

Cause: Human

Location: 10 miles north of Jemez

Containment: 5 percent

Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine

Terrain: Steep, rugged Resources: 17 crews, 29 engines, 4 water tenders, 3 dozers

Total personnel: 557 Available air support: 3 airtankers, 9 helicopters

Summary: Yesterday’s weather was once again the driving force for extreme fire behavior. This erratic behavior continued until 3:00 a.m. this morning on the east side of the fire close to the Valles Caldera Headquarters Historic District. Fire remains active northeast of the headquarters. At the top of Redondo Peak, firefighting efforts were able to protect the cultural site. The west side of the fire remains secure with minimal fire behavior. Firefighters improved fireline along the northwest side of the fire. They conducted burnout operations, removing fuels to widen the fireline. Along the southern end of the fire, firefighters continued to improve line.

Today, the fire will remain active as dry, warm and windy conditions will occur in the morning hours. The possibility of scattered thunderstorms east of the fire may reduce fire behavior as humidity increases. This could assist firefighters as they reinforce firelines and contain spot fires.

Evacuations: An evacuation order remains in effect for Thompson Ridge, Rancho de la Cueva and Elk Valley.

Smoke: Smoke from the Thompson Ridge Fire is evident in several communities. Communities in the region will be impacted by that smoke and that from other fires in the area. Smoke sensitive persons in these areas need to be alert to this possibility and be prepared to take any necessary precautions. For more smoke information and air quality forecasts, please visit the New Mexico Environment Department’s website at http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb and https://nmtracking.org/fire.

Road and Fire Area Closure: All points of entry to the Valles Caldera National Preserve are closed to public access due to fire activity. The Fenton Lake State Park is also closed to the public.

Open and active: Communities in and around the Santa Fe National Forest remain open and accessible including Jemez Springs, Jemez Pueblo, Santa Clara Pueblo, Los Alamos and Bandelier National Monument. Camping, hiking and other recreational opportunities are available in the area.

TRES LAGUNAS FIRE UPDATE

Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 8 a.m.

Acres: 9217

Start Date: May 30, 2013

Cause: downed power line

Containment: 15 percent

Location: 10 miles North of Pecos

Fuels: Timber

Total personnel: 757

Terrain: steep, rugged

PUBLIC MEETING TONIGHT: 6 p.m. at the Pecos High School

Important update: The Santa Fe National Forest Pecos Las Vegas Ranger District will be closed to all public entry beginning Wednesday June 5th at 8 a.m. See the Santa Fe National Forest web site for particulars: http://www.fs.usda.gov/santafe/

At 9:30 a.m. today the road block on Highway 63 will be moved further north in the canyon to the El Macho Church at mile marker 14, as that area of the fire has been better secured. Residents in that area will be allowed to return to their property starting at 9:30 a.m. The entire evacuation area is being assessed daily to determine when it is appropriate for more evacuees to return to their property.

Today’s Actions: Crews will again be in Holy Ghost Canyon providing structure protection. Sprinklers utilizing creek water are being used to keep structures moist and raise humidity. Although fire is near some of the structures in the Holy Ghost Canyon no structures have burned. Spot fires in the Holy Ghost and Cow Creek drainages and other areas continue to be a concern. An additional spot fire was detected north of Holy Ghost canyon last night. Helicopters will be utilized to provide retardant on the new spot fire as well as other areas of the fire.
Photos taken of Holy Ghost Canyon, Indian Creek, Tres Lagunas and other areas of the fire have been posted to the Inciweb website and are available for download. Go to inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3401 and click on the photos link.

Crews today are improving bulldozer lines in several areas of the fire and working to secure the southern perimeter. Expect today and tomorrow to see an increase of smoke related to burnouts being conducted by fire crews improving lines prepared previously as weather and other conditions allow. This will specifically be the case east of Cow Creek within the fire scar of the old Viveash Fire of 2000. Downed logs and debris from that fire will contribute to the increase in smoke. This burnout operation will be key to clearing up unburned fuel in that area and providing more protection for the Gallinas Watershed keeping the fire spread west of Forest Road 92.

Today’s weather: Dry air to the west will be meeting more moist air from the east today over our area, creating fairly volatile weather with a chance of thunderstorms but cooler temperatures. Spot fires are still likely and thunderstorms with lightning are possible.

Smoke: The most significant smoke impacts from the Tres Lagunas and Thompson Ridge fires will be in the communities of Santa Fe, Pecos, Jemez Springs and La Cueva, this morning. Potentially unhealthy conditions (visibility of 1.5 to 2.75 miles or less) could occur in communities from active fire overnight and in the early morning. Other areas such as Las Vegas, Santa Fe and areas south of Santa Fe may experience periods of air quality which are unhealthy for sensitive groups (visibility of 3 to 5 miles), tomorrow morning. Information on wildland fire smoke and your health can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health's website at at https://nmtracking.org/fire.
 


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