Thompson Ridge Fire: Minimal Activity Expected Today as Crews Continue Rehab, Mop Up, Perimeter Patrol

Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,903; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline: Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 80 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 7 crews, 12 engines, 12 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 526 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: For the third consecutive day, fire activity was restricted to unburned fuels within the interior where a total of four acres have burned since Friday. Minimal fire activity is expected today as crews continue rehab, mop up and patrol of the perimeter. The Arizona Central West Zone Incident Management Team will be joined on the line by members of the Albuquerque Zone Type III Incident Management Team who will assume management of the fire at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The fire will continue to smolder through the interior where unburned fuels remain. Interior fire potential will increase Wednesday and Thursday with increasing temperatures and drying southwest winds.

Rehabilitation of fire damage will be addressed by the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team. Specialists of different disciplines will work with the various agencies and pueblos affected by the fire to assess damage and recommend actions. The BAER information number is (707) 853-4243.

Open and active: Communities in and around the Santa Fe National Forest remain open and accessible including Jemez Springs, Jemez Pueblo, Santa Clara Pueblo, Los Alamos and Bandelier National Monument.  Camping, hiking and other recreational opportunities are available in these areas.

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

Closures: All points of entry to the Valles Caldera National Preserve are closed to public access due to fire activity. The Fenton Lake State Park also is closed to the public.

For more information regarding the fire, visit


There are three phases of rehabilitation following wildfires on federal lands:

  • Fire Suppression Repair is a series of immediate post-fire actions taken to repair damages and minimize potential soil erosion and impacts resulting from fire suppression activities and usually begins before the fire is contained, and before the demobilization of an Incident Management Team. This work repairs the hand and dozer fire lines, roads, trails, staging areas, safety zones, and drop points used during fire suppression efforts.
  • Emergency Stabilization-Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) is a rapid assessment of burned watersheds by a BAER team to identify and reduce unacceptable post-fire threats, and implement emergency stabilization actions before the first major storms. The fire results in a loss of vegetation, exposure of the soil to erosion and increased water runoff that may lead to flooding and increased sediment and debris flows. BAER actions such as: the installation of erosion and run-off water control devices; temporary barriers to protect recovering areas; and warning signs may be implemented. BAER work may also replace safety related facilities; remove safety hazards; prevent permanent loss of habitat for threatened and endangered species;and prevent the spread of noxious weeds.
  • Long-Term Recovery and Restoration utilizes non-emergency actions that are done within three years or more after fire containment to improve fire damage lands that are unlikely to recover naturally and to repair or replace facilities damaged by the fire that are not critical to life and safety. This phase may include restoring burned habitat, reforestation, other planting or seeding, monitoring fire effects, replacing burned fences, interpreting cultural sites, treating noxious weed infestations, and installing interpretive signs.

Thompson Ridge post-fire response information is available at


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