Thompson Ridge Fire Update

Smoldering Areas of the Thompson Ridge Fire. Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,937; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed power line; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 90 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 3 crews, 6 engines, 5 water tenders, 1 dozer; Total personnel: 170 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: Acreage on the Thompson Ridge Fire increased by 18 acres according to last night’s infra-red flight. The outside fire perimeter has not changed; the growth noted was within the area referred to as the “donut hole” around Redondo Peak. Fire operations officials have decided against the idea of a burnout operation in this area. After inserting crews atop the Redondo peak area yesterday, crews on the ground feel that direct attack on the hot spots close to the peak are a better alternative. Yesterday’s fire behavior remained active and was verified by infrared last night with an increase of hot spots detected; however, all hot spots remain inside the fire perimeter. Torching and short fire runs continued but posed no significant threats to holding lines or Redondo Peak. The type 1 heavy helicopter was used to cool some of these areas yesterday, but is expected to be more limited in the number of drops today.

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 through the weekend.

Openings: The main entrance to the Valles Caldera National Preserve is open 8 6 p.m. The public can drive to the Valle Grande Staging Area where they can visit the gift shop or view elk and other wildlife in the area. All other areas of the Valles Caldera will remain closed.

Closures: The Fenton Lake State Park will remain closed to the public until further notice. The Santa Fe National Forest will be going into closure beginning 8 a.m. Monday, June 24 and the Valles Calera will remain under closure. The exceptions to these closures are the Rio Chama Scenic River which will remain open to the public under fire restrictions and the Valle Grande staging area of the Valles Caldera.

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