Forward Progress of Thompson Ridge Fire at South Mountain Stopped – N.M. 4 Reopens

Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

Photo depicts surface fire of which the low intensity removes excess fuels, preserving the crowns of the trees. Monsoon season will yield a new crop of grass. Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera

Thompson Ridge FIre Update

Acres: 21,089; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 40 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 21 crews, 49 engines, 31 water tenders, 4 dozers; Total personnel: 1,014 and Available air support: 3 air tankers, 6 helicopters.

Following a full day of preparations on the ground and continuous attack from the air with heavy helicopters, firefighters were prepared to go on the offensive. Firefighters worked through the night taking advantage of the favorable window of opportunity. The night shift crews conducted an aggressive direct attack on the fire on southeastern side at South Mountain. Their calculated risk paid off, and the forward progress of the fire has been stopped.

With the southeastern fire perimeters being held at nearly a mile from N.M. 4, fire officials have reopened the highway. As a safety reminder, all are advised to take extra caution in the area due to the continued heavy volume of fire related traffic.

For more information regarding the fire, visit or follow on Twitter at Additional photos and information are available at and

For more smoke information and air quality forecasts, visit the New Mexico Environment Department’s website at and

Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

This firefighter is filling up water bags June 5 to use in mopup operations, which allows firefighters to put out smoldering spots without having to lay heavy and cumbersome hose lines. Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust


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