Valle Grande. Photo by Glen Wurden
JEMEZ SPRINGS – All public access to the Valles Caldera National Preserve is closed to the public due to increased fire activity from the Thompson Ridge Fire.
The Fire has burned more than 9,000 acres near the western border of the preserve since the fire began Friday, May 31. All recreational programs and activities on the Valles Caldera National Preserve have been suspended until the area is considered safe for visitors to return.
The timing of what programs may be resumed will be determined after close collaboration with the Incident Management Team that is suppressing the fire and the agency partners supporting this effort. Protection of life and safety must be assured before any action is taken.
All points of entry to the Valles Caldera National Preserve are closed to public access due to fire activity. The Fenton Lake State Park is also closed to the public.
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 the area.
Smoke from the Thompson Ridge Fire is evident in several communities. Communities in the region will be impacted by that smoke and that from other fires in the area. Smoke sensitive persons in these areas need to be alert to this possibility and be prepared to take any necessary precautions. For more smoke information and air quality forecasts, please visit the New Mexico Environment Department’s website at http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb and https://nmtracking.org/fire.
For more information on activities and programs at the Valles Caldera call 866-382-5537 or go to www.vallescaldera.gov.
The Valles Caldera Trust oversees the Valles Caldera National Preserve, formerly the privately owned “Baca Ranch.” The 88,900 acre property is located in the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico. It was purchased by the federal government in 2000 under the Valles Caldera National Preservation Act. The property is known for its huge meadows, abundant wildlife, meandering stream, remarkable scenery and science based adaptive management. More information about the preserve can be found at www.vallescaldera.gov.