Thompson Ridge Fire Update – June 11

Smoke from the Thompson Ridge Fire looking west over Ashley Pond Monday evening. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Thompson Ridge Fire Update

Acres: 21,871; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 50 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 20 crews, 49 engines, 32 water tenders, 5 dozers; Total personnel: 1,003 and Available air support: 3 air tankers, 6 helicopters.

Very active fire behavior was observed yesterday within the perimeter and will continue today due to atmospheric conditions. Much of the interior burning that occurred yesterday and through the night was reburn. The first time the fire moves through the forest it may burn low to the ground as a surface fire preheating and drying the crowns. Then the fire can come back through a second time and burn the crowns. This is what occurred yesterday in some areas of the interior and will most likely occur today. 

Fire made some runs close to the north and south perimeters of the fire but stayed inside the containment lines. On the north side of the fire, firefighters will continue to patrol, mop up and hold the line while searching for hot spots. On the south side of the fire, firefighters will continue to improve and secure the line and watch for hot spots. 

Smoke plumes: Will be seen very early today and continue after dark as we encounter very high winds, low humidity and unstable atmospheric conditions.

Evacuations: A pre-evacuation notice remains in effect for Bennett Subdivision.

Smoke: Smoke from the Thompson Ridge Fire is evident in several communities. Communities in the region will be impacted by smoke from this fire and 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 and

Road and Fire Area Closure: 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.

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.

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