Storm clouds fill the sky looking west from N.M. 4 toward the Thompson Ridge Fire late Thursday afternoon. The fire is now 75 percent contained. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
Thompson Ridge Fire
Acres: 24,032; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 75 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 15 crews, 35 engines, 29 water tenders, 5 dozers; Total personnel: 833 and Available air support: 3 air tankers, 4 helicopters.
Summary: Fire activity last night was minimal, allowing firefighters to address hotspots, patrol the perimeter of the fire, and mop-up further into the interior. Cleanup efforts will begin today with the removal of hoses, cutting of snags, and chipping of felled trees. Suppression rehabilitation efforts will also begin around South Mountain as we mitigate the impact of firefighter efforts to stop the fire. Portions of the Highway 4 will be reduced to one lane today for chipping and removal of vegetation that was cut to prepare the contingency line along that roadway.
Evacuation: The pre-evacuation advisory of the Bennett Subdivision remains in effect.
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, please visit the New Mexico Environment Department’s website at http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb and https://nmtracking.org/fire.
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 is also closed to the public.
For more information regarding the fire, 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.
Note: A Jaroso Fire information telephone number will be established shortly.
Date Reported: June 6, 2013; Location: Espanola Ranger District within the Pecos; Number of Personnel: 47 members of the team that are developing the long term suppression strategy;
Wilderness, approx. six miles southeast of Borrego; Equipment: No ground equipment at this time; Cause: Lightning; Aircraft: Local resources presently being used; Size: 3,538 acres (not updated, there was no flight over fire last night due to thunder storms; Injuries to Date: None and Percent Contained: Zero.
General Information/Announcements: The Southwest Type 1 Incident Management Team, Tony Sciacca Incident Commander, continues with its immediate objective to develop a long term strategy for suppression of the fire outside of the wilderness boundary. Presently the fire is burning in an area that is inaccessible to ground resources. Placing firefighters in this area is an unacceptable risk to them. Tactics will be developed that will allow firefighters to safely suppress the fire with the greatest chance of success and the least risk to our firefighters.
Santa Fe National Forest Fire Restrictions and Closures: Go to www.firerestrictions.us/nm or www.fs.usda.gov
Today’s Planned Activities: There are no night operations presently being conducted on the fire. Today the team will continue to develop potential suppression strategies to protect critical assets at risk and identify consequences of the potential loss of those assets. The team is using the input they have received from stakeholders and the community that identified assets of particular importance that may be affected by the fire. As well as using aircraft to fly over the fire area and determine what measures can be taken to protect these assets if the fire approaches, the team will also be verifying these measures on the ground. The team will continue to scout out potential water sources for the fire suppression effort. Several remote cabins have been identified and tactics for their protection are being formulated. Today the team will continue moving around the fire, with the west and northwest sides completed yesterday, todays focus will be to the north and northeast. It was observed yesterday that the fire was most active along the south front near Frijoles Canyon. Today the fire is expected to continue actively backing through the area of a previous blow down. The fire will also continue burning in an area of mixed conifer that has a 40-50 percent dead component. Although the fire continues to burn along all fronts, the weather has assisted in moderating fire growth. This moist weather is expected to continue throughout the weekend with a drying trend moving into the area on Monday.
Tres Lagunas Fire
Start Date: May 30, 2013; Cause: Human; Size:10,219 acres; Location:10 miles north of Pecos; Terrain:Steep/Rugged; Containment:85 percent; Fuels: Timber and Resources Committed: 609.
Today’s Weather: Maximum temperatures above 8,000 feet average 80 degrees, relative humidity in the twenties and south winds 10-12 mph with gusts up to 20 mph. Skies in the morning will be partly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of precipitation in the afternoon. There is a predicted 70 percent chance of thunderstorms.
Summary: Mop up, backhauling of equipment, and fire line rehabilitation will continue today. Mop up includes extinguishing or removing burning material near containment lines, felling snags, and trenching logs to prevent rolling after an area has burned. Firefighters will continue to improve existing fireline and build additional direct fireline on ridges and steep slopes on the east, northeast, and southeast areas of the fire. Resources and equipment are gradually being demobilized. The road block on Highway 63 at Windy Bridge Day Use Area has been removed and the road is now open. The public is reminded that the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District is closed to public entry due to extreme fire danger including the entire Pecos Wilderness. The District closure pertains to all recreational uses (fishing, camping, hiking, etc.) including recreation resident leasees,orpermittees on national forest land. For questions about the District closure, call the Pecos Ranger District at 505-757-6121.
NM Game and Fish lands in the Pecos Canyon are also closed to all recreational use.
Due to heavy fire traffic, residents returning to their homes should avoid driving on Highway 63 before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m. Residents are urged to drive slowly and use extreme caution. Electricity has been restored to all evacuated areas.Crews are evaluating work to restore electrical power to Holy Ghost Canyon. Century Link continues to repair phone lines in the area. Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team specialists will be in the burn area today assessing fire effects and potential for further damage in the event of heavy rains in the fire area. Soil scientists are looking at the ability of the burned soils to absorb water, andhydrologists are looking at watershed conditions and runoff potential. Engineers are assessing roads and bridges. Biologists are looking at fire effects on wildlife and vegetation, as well as impacts to endangered species. Residents and property owners around and downstream from the fire area should remain alert and stay updated on weather conditions that may result in heavy rains over the burn scar.
Fire information: For further information on the Tres Lagunas Fire, call the Fire Information at 505-757-2952.Media contact number 505-757-2907. Maps and photos can be found at: www.inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3401