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SFNF: Sarca Fire Update

on July 13, 2018 - 8:03am
SFNF Sarca Fire Update:
Start Date: July 7
Cause: Lightning
Size: 7 acres
Location: Agua Sarca drainage area of the Pecos Wilderness - Santa Fe National Forest
Containment: 0%
Fuel: ponderosa pine and other mixed conifer
Weather: Cloudy with rain storms approaching
Situation: Due to the combination of the fire being inside the Pecos wilderness area, the steep and rocky terrain, and precipitation and lightning, fire managers are monitoring the fire by aircraft. Smoke visible along 285/84 corridor, Espanola, Pojoaque and Tesuque areas
Smoke/Air Quality: Smoke

SFNF: Wildhorse Fire Update

on July 11, 2018 - 7:49am
SFNF Wildhorse Fire Update:
Start Date: July 8
Cause: Lightning
Size: 7 acres
Location: Chama Wilderness Area of the Coyote Ranger District - Santa Fe National Forest
Containment: 0%
Fuel: ponderosa pine, pinyon, oak brush and grass
Weather: Cloudy and rainy
Situation: Minimal fire behavior. Resources pulled from fire due to incoming weather - heavy rains and lightning. Smoke is visible from Llaves, Gallina, Abiquiu from highway 112, and roads 96, 84, 8, 151, 6, 7 and 77.
Smoke/Air Quality: Smoke impact to local communities at this time is low, however,

Los Alamos County Drops To Stage I Fire Restrictions ... Local Trails Now Open!

on July 9, 2018 - 1:41pm


Effective immediately, Los Alamos County has dropped from Stage III to Stage I Fire Restrictions, opening the Los Alamos County Trail Network and open spaces.

Northern New Mexico’s extreme drought conditions that led to Stage III Restrictions should soon see some much-needed relief with the seasonal monsoons beginning across the state. Several criteria are used to determine when to implement fire restrictions, including current and predicted weather, as well as fuel moistures.

Santa Fe National Forest Reopens Monday!

on July 8, 2018 - 8:13am

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – Due to several days of higher humidity and rain, the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) will lift the closure order and stage 2 fire restrictions at 8 a.m. Monday, July 9 for the first time since entering full forest closure June 1.

The forest remained closed for public safety and forest health reasons until conditions improved to acceptable levels, according to forest leadership.

“We noticed conditions starting to improve two weeks ago when moisture levels increased due to higher humidity,” SFNF Supervisor James Melonas said.

Los Alamos Fire Chief Commends Community

on July 6, 2018 - 10:23am

LAFD Chief Troy Hughes

LAFD News:

Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes reports that the Independence Day celebration came and went without any fire incidents, thanks to voluntary cooperation from community members in giving fireworks a “pass” during the extreme drought conditions Los Alamos is facing.

“We could not have been more pleased with the community’s response to our plea last week to keep the 4th of July fireworks-free,” Hughes said. “Overall, we observed very few instances of fireworks used in private celebrations. It was a peaceful, quiet day and that’s great news!

Lujan Grisham Releases Plan To Fight Fires

on July 6, 2018 - 5:46am
U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham
ALBUQUERQUE Monday, U.S. Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham released her plan to prevent and fight fires in New Mexico.
“As families throughout New Mexico prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, federal and state parks across our state are closed because of severe fire threats. The changing climate and ongoing drought mean that New Mexico is at an even greater risk to experience devastating fires this season.

LAFD Mourns Death Of Former Capt. Patrick Herrera

on July 6, 2018 - 5:26am

Patrick Herrera

LAFD News:

The Los Alamos Fire Department is sad to announce the passing of Patrick Herrera who served the LAFD for 17 years.

Patrick Raymond Herrera, 67, was born March 17, 1951 in Espanola and went to be with our Lord June 25. He lived his life to the fullest. He served in Vietnam as a Corporal with The United States Marine Corp 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division. He received a National Defense Service Medal, Expert Badge for M-14 rifle and a Good Conduct Medal. Patrick then served with the United States Coast Guard.

Scenes From Independence Day Flag Carry From Santa Fe National Cemetery To Flag Raising In White Rock

on July 5, 2018 - 4:33pm

Miguel Perez, left, and Stephen Betts take down the United States flag at 3 a.m. July 4 at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe for the Second Annual Independence Day Flag Carry to White Rock. Event organizers Stephen and Becca Betts said the flag has this year been flown at the State Capitol in Santa Fe, Fort Bayard National Cemetery and at a flag raising ceremony at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

San Antonio Fire in Valles Caldera 75% Contained

on June 27, 2018 - 10:33am



Jemez Springs — The lightning-caused San Antonio Fire on Valles Caldera National Preserve is now 75 percent contained and remains at 416 acres. There has been no significant growth, but interior hot spots are a concern. Crews will continue to mop up the hot spot within the mixed conifer and aspen.


After a fire, the first priority is emergency stabilization in order to prevent further damage to life, property or natural resources. The stabilization work begins immediately and may continue for up to a year.

Sardinas Canyon Fire Burns 500 Acres Near Taos

on June 27, 2018 - 7:56am

The smoke plume from the Sardinas Canyon Fire visible Tuesday evening from Los Alamos. The fire ignited Sunday afternoon 18 miles southeast of Taos. Photo by Elena Giorgi

Scene from the Sardinas Canyon Fire burning near Taos in the Carson National Forest. Courtesy/NMFI


As of Tuesday evening the Sardinas Canyon Fire has consumed about 500 acres and is burning 18 miles from Taos.

Acres: Approximately 500 acres

Percent Containment: 0 percent

Start Date: June 24, 2018, 2:09 p.m.

Cause: Unknown, under investigation

Jurisdiction: Carson National Forest, Camino Real Ranger

Annual Fireworks Show At Overlook Park Is Canceled

on June 26, 2018 - 4:46pm


Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes announced today that the Fire Department has reached a decision regarding the annual Independence Day celebration sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.

“Unfortunately, the long-range forecast does not indicate that we are going to receive any significant rainfall anytime soon,” Hughes said. “Therefore, we have reached the difficult decision that we will not issue the permit that would allow the fireworks display to proceed on July 4. We continue to be at extreme fire danger conditions and the risk is too great.

Carson National Forest Closing Wednesday

on June 26, 2018 - 9:05am

CNF News:

TAOS -- The Carson National Forest (CNF) will implement Stage 3 Restrictions over most of the forest, effective 6 a.m. Wednesday, June 27.

Effectively immediately, the Camino Real Ranger District is closed. This immediate closure of the Camino Real District is strictly precautionary, the Sardinas Canyon Fire is not threatening structures nor is it expected to do so.

The remainder of the closure, which includes the Questa, Tres Piedras, El Rito and Canjilon District goes into effect 6 a.m., Wednesday.

SFNF, Valles Caldera Closures Remain Despite Rains

on June 23, 2018 - 2:28pm

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – While the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) and Valles Caldera National Preserve (Preserve) have received some rain, fire danger is still high to extreme.

For the SFNF, forest conditions mean the forest-wide closure remains in effect until much more significant and widespread precipitation is received. 

The Preserve, managed by the National Park Service, will remain in partial closure. 

“It typically takes several rain events over time before the moisture saturates the ground well enough for vegetation to sufficiently hydrate,” said Kimberly DeVall, spokesperson for

Thursday Update: Fire At Valles Caldera 39% Contained

on June 21, 2018 - 12:01pm

VCNP News:

Firefighters continue to make progress in their work to contain the San Antonio Fire that has been active over the past week on the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Containment is a direct action where crews remove vegetation next to the fires edge, creating a fireline.

With no additional fuel to consume, the fire remains within the established fireline. Containment describes how much progress (percentage) crews have made hacking and digging a perimeter around a blaze.

While the perimeter-based size hasn't changed in several days, the scattering of the smaller fires inside the

Wednesday Update: Firefighters Hurt At Valles Caldera

on June 20, 2018 - 10:02am

Scene Friday at the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Photo by John McHale/

VCNP News:

Two firefighters were injured by a falling tree while working on the San Antonio Fire Tuesday afternoon on the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Fire personnel responded quickly to the incident, and patients were airlifted to an area hospital.

The firefighters’ injuries were evaluated and treated by medical staff at the hospital. Both firefighters were released from the hospital following treatment early this morning.

“This incident again emphasizes that firefighting is a dangerous

Safety Town Program Grows By Leaps And Bounds

on June 20, 2018 - 7:28am

Los Alamos Police Department Community Liaison Unit Sgt. Chris Ross, left, and Chief of Police Dino Sgambellone chat at Safety Town last week at Mountain Elementary School. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

A young cyclist practices his bike safety rules at Safety Town. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

Los Alamos Police Sgt. Chris Ross and a group of Safety Town participants watch an LAPD bomb truck robot pick up a Gatorade bottle during Safety Town. The robot was remotely operated by Cmdr. Preston Ballew from inside the truck. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

Los Alamos

Tuesday Update: Rains Not Sufficient To Lift Fire Restrictions And Closures In Jemez Mountain Area

on June 19, 2018 - 10:50am

Despite recent rain, fires still burn on the Valles Calderas and Stage III restrictions remain in place for the entire Jemez Mountain area. Courtesy/Jerry Carroll


VCNM News:

Fire officials want to stress that the rains received a couple of days ago were not enough to lift the Stage III fire restrictions and closures within the Jemez Mountain area.

It typically takes several rain events before the moisture saturates the ground enough to allow the vegetation to restore its dehydrated system.

Monday Update: Drying Trend Poses Risk To Firefighting Effort On Valles Caldera National Preserve

on June 18, 2018 - 3:25pm

VCNP News:

Although the much-needed rain aided the firefighting efforts on the Valles Caldera, it was short lived as a drying trend is predicted for the next week.

With an increase in temperature and lowering of humidity, roads and vegetation are drying, which may contribute to higher fire activity. The fire is still at 495 acres. The interior of the fire perimeter area is still burning and smoldering.

Sunday’s reconnaissance flight indicated multiple spot fires on the northwest perimeter of the fire.

Sunday Update: Rain Provides Relief ... Keeps Fire On Valles Caldera At 495 Acres

on June 17, 2018 - 2:46pm

Rain aides firefighters in keeping blaze at 495 acres overnight on the Valles Caldera. Photo by John McHale/


VCNP News:

Saturday’s rain aided firefighting efforts and kept the San Antonio Fire at 495 acres on the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

The lightning-caused fire is burning within the northwest area of the Preserve. Fire activity was moderate with spots of creeping flames and smoldering timber. The historic cabin within the fire perimeter and the weather station and natural gas pipeline near the fire remain intact and unaffected by the fire.

The Albuquerque

Update: Fire In Valles Caldera At 495 Acres

on June 16, 2018 - 4:58pm



VCNP News:

  • Moisture slows San Antonio Fire on Valles Caldera


The lightning-caused San Antonio Fire on Valles Caldera National Preserve has grown to 495 acres and is within the northwest area of the preserve between Valle San Antonio and the northern boundary.

Firefighters were able to establish hand line along the north and southwestern flanks of the fire. In addition, air support dropped retardant lines along the fire perimeter. Today’s forecasted rain and higher humidity are expected to aid in firefighting efforts.

The Albuquerque Zone Incident Management Type 3

Kirtland AFB Implements Stage III Fire Restrictions

on June 16, 2018 - 9:50am

Kirtland Air Force Base implements Stage III Fire Restrictions. Courtesy photo


KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE – The Sandia Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest transitioned Friday morning to Stage III Fire Restrictions. Kirtland officials are following their lead and implementing increased fire restrictions for the installation.

“Effective immediately, the installation will follow all restrictions listed in the Stage II and Stage III orders through July 15 or until conditions improve.

Valles Caldera Open To Visitors Despite Fire

on June 16, 2018 - 8:58am

Santa Fe National Forest Espanola District Ranger Sandy Hurlocker, left, VCNP Chief of Interpretation & Education Kimberly DeVall and VCNP Superintendent Jorge Silva-Banuelos watch smoke Friday afternoon from the San Antonio Fire from a spot along San Antonio Creek. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

A tree burns Friday afternoon in the San Antonio Fire on the Valles Caldera National Preserve as Los Alamos Daily Post staff were escorted close to the fire area. Photo by John McHale/


Los Alamos Daily Post

Valles Caldera National

Update: Fire In Valles Caldera Burns 426 Acres

on June 15, 2018 - 2:33pm

The lightning-caused San Antonio Fire on Valles Caldera National Preserve has grown to 426 acres. Photo by John McHale/

Fire in the Valles Caldera. Photo by John McHale/

VCNP News: 

The lightning-caused San Antonio Fire on Valles Caldera National Preserve has grown to 426 acres and is located in the northwest area of the preserve between Valle San Antonio and northern boundary.

Resources consist of more than 100 fire personnel. The Albuquerque Zone Incident Management Type 3 Team is on scene and expected to take command at 8 a.m. Saturday.

The Valle Grande

Night View Of Fire Burning In Valles Caldera

on June 15, 2018 - 8:16am

The San Antonio Fire burning Thursday night along a ridge northeast of Valle San Antonio in the Valles Caldera National Preserve as light from ground fires illuminates the smoky sky. © 2018 David A. Ponton,

NMDOH: Wildfire Smoke Health Hazards

on June 15, 2018 - 8:03am

Wildfire smoke can present hazards to people’s health. Courtesy image


With the Ute Park Fire burning in Colfax County, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) are monitoring air quality in areas of Northern New Mexico affected by smoke from the wildfire, including Cimarron, Eagle Nest, and Raton.

Over the weekend, NMED set up air quality monitors in Raton and Cimarron. A third monitor is being placed in the Eagle Nest-Angel Fire area today by the US Forest Service.

The monitors will allow the State to gather information about