Venado Fire area on the Jemez Ranger District. Courtesy/SFNF
SANTA FE – The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) has issued a temporary area closure today to protect public health and safety, and so firefighters can operate more safely in the Venado Fire area on the Jemez Ranger District of the SFNF.
Lightning caused the fire July 20, which has consumed 2,872 acres of Ponderosa pine and is now 10 percent contained.
The restricted area boundary follows the east edge of Virgin Mesa, then extends due west crossing Forest Road (FR) 376 at Gilman Tunnels to the west edge of the SFNF boundary (see closure order and map).
The restricted area boundary then extends north to the Cuba-Jemez Ranger District boundary, which it follows east to the intersection of FRs 534 and 539, and follows FR 539 to the National Forest boundary south of the Chaparral Girl Scout Camp. From there it goes due east to the Cuba-Jemez Ranger District boundary, which it follows to NM State Road 126 north of Fenton Lake, goes around Fenton Lake State Park, back to NM State Road 126, and follows it east to San Antonio Creek and south to the top of Virgin Mesa.
Violations of the regulations is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor, by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individual or $10,000 for an organization, or by imprisonment for not more than six months or both.
The SFNF closure order will soon be available under Alerts and Notices on the SFNF website. Fire restrictions in New Mexico can be found at https://firerestrictions.us/nm/ and fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease should be prepared to exercise precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website https://nmtracking.org/fire or by calling 1.888.878.8992. For information on the HEPA filter loan program: https://www.santafefireshed.org/hepa-filter-loan-program/.
Map of closure area. Courtesy/SFNF