Smoke from the Pino Fire near Jemez Springs was visible throughout the county today and this large column of smoke was spotted around 7 p.m. looking west past the Visitors Center from N.M. 4 in White Rock. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
Conditions were very favorable today for fire managers to ignite areas around the Pino Fire to achieve desired resource objectives.
The Pino Fire was started by lightning within the planned Paliza prescribed fire area. Hand and aerial ignitions were used today to direct the Pino Fire to existing fire lines that were created for the Paliza burn. The Pino Fire is on Santa Fe National Forest’s Jemez Ranger District, south of N.M. 4, and six miles east of Jemez Springs. It is now 164 acres in size.
A very large smoke column was visible today from Los Alamos and White Rock, Jemez Springs, Jemez Pueblo, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Espanola and surrounding communities. Travel along Interstate 25, U.S. 550 and N.M. 4 may also be impacted. Motorists are advised to proceed with caution when smoke limits visibility along their travel route. Smoke impacts may occur tonight, particularly in low-lying areas.
A Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative (JMEC) power line exists within the fire area. Fuel reduction projects have been completed near the power line over the previous year, but the potential still exists for power to be interrupted by fire activities. A plan is in place to restore electricity as quickly as possible if an interruption occurs. If electricity is interrupted, notify JMEC at 877.753.0095.
Sandoval County EOC Code Red Reverse 911 system will be used to distribute important safety messages to areas that could potentially be affected. The system was tested Monday in preparation for today’s activities. For safety notifications in Sandoval County, visit http://www.sandovalcounty.com/.