SANTA FE – The lightning caused Pino Fire, on Santa Fe National Forest’s Jemez Ranger District, is now estimated at 152 acres. The fire is five miles south of N.M. 4 and six miles east of Jemez Springs.
This fire is being managed for resource benefits. Sunday’s fire behavior was the most active seen on this fire, and is accomplishing resource objectives, including fuel reduction, nutrient recycling, forest insect and disease regulation, and watershed protection for Ponderosa and other communities. Smoke production is likely to increase, and will be visible over a much wider area.
Firefighters and equipment resources are staged for upcoming activities. With favorable weather, hand ignitions (drip torches) and aerial ignitions (helicopter) are planned to begin today, Sept. 2. These ignitions will direct the Pino Fire to holding and control features.
Large columns of smoke from this ignition will likely be visible from Los Alamos, Jemez Springs, Jemez Pueblo, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and surrounding communities today, Sept. 2. Travel along Interstate 25 also may be impacted. Motorists are advised to proceed with caution when smoke limits visibility along their travel route.
A Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative (JMEC) power line exists within the fire area. Fuel mitigations have been completed over the previous year and 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 utilized to distribute important safety messages specific to those areas that could potentially be affected. This system will conduct a test today, Sept. 2 in the morning and in the evening. For safety notifications in Sandoval County, sign up at: http://www.sandovalcounty.com/.
A community meeting to discuss management of the Pino Fire has been scheduled for 7 p.m. today, Sept. 2, at the Walatowa Visitor Center.