Thompson Ridge; Tres Lagunas Fire Updates – Morning of June 3

Thompson Ridge Fire approximately a half-mile from homes this weekend as firefighters battle the blaze with buckets of slurry dropped from the air. Photo by Ron Brown

Thompson Ridge Fire at 1:22 p.m., June 1. Photo by Ron Brown

Thompson Ridge Fire at 5:45 p.m., May 31. Photo by Ron Brown

Thompson Ridge Fire at 9 p.m., June 2 approximately a half-mile from homes. Photo by Ron Brown

Staff Report

THOMPSON RIDGE FIRE UPDATE
June 3, 2013 9 a.m.

Acres: 2,229

Start date: May 31, 2013

Cause: Under Investigation

Location: 10 miles north of Jemez

Containment: 5 percent

Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine

Terrain: Steep, rugged

Resources: 6 crews, 9 engines, 2 water tenders, 3 dozers

Total personnel: 312 Available air support: 5 helicopters

Summary: High humidity, light winds and cloud cover assisted firefighters on the Thompson Ridge Fire yesterday. With the moderate fire behavior, firelines were completed and secured on the west side of the fire. Today, humidity will decrease while temperatures and wind velocity increase. Unstable atmospheric conditions will contribute to extreme fire behavior. The appearance of a large smoke plume is very likely. Given the expected fire behavior, the dense, historically dry fuels and the steep, rugged terrain, firefighters are unable to conduct a safe direct attack. For this reason, firefighters will prepare the lines along the roads within the Valles Caldera north, east and south of the fire. Patience is essential, being mindful of the weather conditions and pursuing the safest suppression strategy.

Evacuations: An evacuation order remains effect for Thompson Valley, Rancho de la Cueva and Elk Valley.

Smoke: Smoke from the Thompson Ridge Fire is evident in several communities. Communities in the region may 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.

Road and Fire Area Closure: The Valle Grande Staging Area is open to the public. All other points of entry to the Valles Caldera preserve are closed to public access due to fire activity.

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 the area. For more information regarding the fire, visit www.inciweb.org.

TRES LAGUNAS FIRE UPDATE
Monday, June 3, 2013, 9 a.m.

Acres: 7,990

Start Date: May 30, 2013

Cause: downed power line

Location: 10 miles North of Pecos

Containment: 5 percent

Fuels: Timber

Total personnel: 600

Terrain: steep, rugged

PUBLIC MEETING TODAY: 6 p.m. PECOS HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM

Yesterday’s Summary: On the west flank yesterday crews scouted and built direct line from Indian Creek road north to the ridgeline above Holy Ghost Canyon. On the north side dozers and burnout operations were utilized to catch fire which crossed Forest Road 646 (Davis Willow Road). Crews scouted for line locations to tie in with the old Viveash burn to the east. Along the southeastern edge of the fire, crews are using Forest Road 92 as an indirect fire line. In Cow Creek crews kept fire west of Forest Road 92, and monitored a backing fire near structures.

Along the southern edge, dozer and hand line was completed from Viveash Ranch toward NM Highway 63. Structure protection crews patrolled for spot fires near structures, and a sprinkler system was 75 percent complete in Holy Ghost canyon, and sprinklers have been wetting the area for the past 48 hours. Crews held spot fires in the Viveash Burn area, and continued structure protection in Cow Creek. Air support was provided by five helicopters wherever needed. A total of 49,000 gallons of water was dropped on the fire yesterday, which came from Monastery Lake. Water that has been removed for firefighting efforts is being replenished by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

Today’s Actions: Crews will continue to build direct fire line along the west flank from Indian Creek towards Holy Ghost. On the north, crews will continue to build fire line to the east utilizing the Forest Road 646 where possible. Crews will look for new line locations and begin line construction in the northeast portion of the fire to tie into Forest Road 92 in the southeast corner of the fire. Where lines have been completed, firefighters will work to hold these lines through today’s dry, warm and windy conditions. Crews will work to finish the sprinkler system in the Holy Ghost subdivision and continue structure protection activities throughout the fire area. The status of evacuations has not changed. To date, no structures have been burned. The evacuation area is being assessed daily to determine when it is appropriate for evacuees to return to their property.

Today’s Weather: Hotter and drier weather is expected later in the day, with a chance of thunderstorms in the early afternoon. Relative humidity is expected to drop to the single digits later in the day. Winds are expected to be sustained at 13 to 17 mph from the WSW with some gusts as high as 34 mph.

Structures/threats: Residences along Highway 63 north of Pecos are threatened.

Evacuations: 134 summer homes, 6-10 primary residences along Highway 63 beginning at El Macho church north toward Jacks Creek Campground.

Forest Service campgrounds: Jacks Creek, Iron Gate, Panchuela, Cowles, Holy Ghost, Links Tract, Field Tract, Davis Willow, Dalton, Lower Dalton.

NM Game & Fish Campgrounds: Mora, Willow Creek, Bert Clancy, Terrero. 6 trailheads: Jacks Creek, Iron Gate, Panchuela, Geronimo, Cowles, Holy Ghost Voluntary evacuations have been issued for Cow Creek area residents The San Miguel Sheriff’s Posse – Pecos Rodeo grounds has been set up for pets and livestock. The evacuation center at the Pecos High School Gymnasium has been closed due to lack of customers. Evacuees needing assistance with food purchases may contact ARC @ (505)265-8514.

Road Closures: Highway 63 beginning at mile marker 12, north toward Jacks Creek Campgrounds

Emergency Closure: An emergency fire closure has been issued for the fire area. For specific information please see the closure order and map that was attached with this update.

Fire Restrictions: Forest users are reminded that Stage 1 fire restrictions remain in place on the entire Santa Fe National Forest, the Valles Caldera National Preserve, all State owned lands and private, non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal lands. The Santa Fe National Forest is considering moving to Stage 2 fire restrictions this week.

Smoke: Smoke will create hazy conditions throughout the day. Information on wildland fire smoke and your health can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website  https://nmtracking.org/fire.

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