Acres: 20,700; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 40 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 21 crews, 49 engines, 31 water tenders, 4 dozers; Total personnel: 1,014 and Available air support: 3 air tankers, 6 helicopters.
Summary: Today there was a small amount of rainfall near the northeast area of the fire. The elevated humidity contributed to the minimal fire behavior, in spite of the very active burning in the early to mid-evening the night before. Crews performed mop up on isolated hot spots and began rehab on the east side of the fire. The north side of the fire was mopped up as well with hot spots sought out and extinguished. The east edge of the fire was mopped up at isolated hot spot in the northern half. The southern half of the east side, where a spot fire established burning on the west slope of South Mountain last night, was the area where several crews cut in hand lines for containment along the base of the mountain at the tree line.
The New Mexico National Guard, 111th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 717th Brigade Support Battalion, Bravo Company and 920th Engineering Company, deployed with 10 Medium Tactical Vehicles (MTV’s) and 20 personnel, are currently assigned to the Thompson Ridge Fire. Todd Haines, New Mexico State Forestry, advised of the availability of the National Guard. The unit was requested. The Governor’s office authorized the deployment and the Incident Management Team accepted the offer.
The Guardsmen from the 111th MEB, Companies Engineering and Bravo, are full time, part time, and volunteer with regular duties ranging from security, to military police, to mechanical specialists. Many of the members also have experience supporting emergency services at wildfires and hurricanes, and are acclimating to their current assignment.
Making their homes in Rio Rancho and Roswell, The Guardsmen are not line qualified to fight the fire. They have been providing invaluable logistical support to the incident delivering supplies to two remote spike camps, a Helispot, (a designated location where a helicopter can safely take off and land), and various points around the incident.
Lt. Sal Lopez and Staff Sgt. Carlos Velasquez both expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the firefighters here at the Thompson Ridge Fire for helping out the community of New Mexico. “It makes us feel good to know that this level of help could come to our home, too,” and they are very appreciative to be providing assistance to this local emergency.
For more information regarding the fire please visit www.inciweb.org or follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ThompsonRdgFire. Additional photos and information are available at www.facebook.com/ThompsonRdgFire and www.flickr.com/ThompsonRdgFire.