Thompson Ridge Wildfire Burns Onto Valles Caldera

Thompson Ridge Wildfire has burned onto Valles Caldera property. Photo by Brian McCool

Thompson Ridge Wildfire smoke billows high in the air as seen coming from North Mesa Friday. Photo by Khal Spencer

Thompson Ridge Wildfire smoke as seen looking west from 20th Street in downtown Los Alamos at 7 p.m. Friday. Photo by Carol A. Clark/


Thompson Ridge Wildfire

Start Date / Time: May 31 / 2:40 p.m.

Start Location: Jemez Springs, Thompson Ridge area

Latitude: 35 53.399

Longitude: 106 37.365

Cause of Fire: Tree on power line.

Area Vegetation: grass, Ponderosa Pine, Brush

Acres Burned: between 650 and 800 acres based on aerial flyovers.

Ownership(s): Private and Valles Caldera

Structures Threatened: Yes – None immediately at this time, based on weather patterns.

Structures Burned: slight damage to one home in Thompson Ridge, but was quickly taken care of.

Evacuations: Yes. Thompson Ridge community – approximately 40-50 homes. No shelter has been set up based on lack of need.

Situation: Fire spread has slowed now that temperatures have decreased and winds have slowed. Fire remains active, however. The fire has burned onto Valles Caldera property. Crews continue to work to suppress the Thompson Ridge Fire, burning in grass and timber, Some spot fires have been detected on Redondo Peak. State Forestry, Sandoval County VFDs and SFS engines and crews are on scene.

The fire is approximately 650-800 acres, running in oak brush and Ponderosa Pine. Evacuations in the area of Thompson Ridge took place this afternoon by Sandoval County emergency management and law enforcement.

Transitioning to a Type 3 Team Dwayne Archuleta

Percent contained: none reported

Target Containment: unknown

Temperature: 70 degrees F

Relative Humidity: 7 percent

Wind Speeds: 20 mph 25 mph gusts

Wind Direction: WSW

# of Crews: 2 IHC in route

# of Engines: 6+

# of Bulldozers:

# of water tenders: Unknown

Total # of Personnel: 80+

Thompson Ridge Wildfire as seen from the North Mesa Stables Friday afternoon. Photo by Khal Spencer

Thompson Ridge Wildfire smoke as seen looking west on main hill road at 5 p.m. Friday. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Thompson Ridge Wildfire smoke as seen looking west on Central Avenue at 9th Street 5:15 p.m. Friday. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Tres Lagunas Fire Update

The Tres Lagunas Fire as seen looking east from Los Alamos Middle School Friday. Photo by Khal Spencer

Fire Name: Tres Lagunas Fire

Time/Date Reported: May 30/3 p.m.

Location: 10 miles north of Pecos, New Mexico

Legal Description: T17N, R12E, Sec 9

Cause: Human, downed power line

Fuels: Ponderosa Pine

Size: Approximately 2,500 acres

Percent Contained: 0 percent

Resources Committed:5 Type 1 Interagency Hotshot Crews, 2 Type 2 Initial Attack crews, 2 Type 1 Helicopters, 1 Type 3 Helicopter, 14 engines various other overhead with a total of approximately 278 personnel.

The fire is currently being managed by the Northern New Mexico Incident Management Team with Santa Fe National Forest Resources. John Pierson’s Type 2 Incident Management Team assumed management of the fire at 6 a.m. today.

Tomorrows Weather: Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Winds will be out of the northeast at 10 to15 mph shifting to the southeast in the afternoon. Expected temperatures will range between 64 to 69 degrees with zero percent chance of precipitation.

Structures/threats: Several communities along Highway 63 are threatened

Evacuations:134 summer homes, 6-10 primary residences, 10 campgrounds and 6 trailheads. Residents along Highway 63 beginning at El Macho church north toward Jack’s Creek Campgrounds have been evacuated. Voluntary evacuations have been issued for Cow Creek residents. An evacuation center is available at Pecos High School Gymnasium. The San Miguel Sheriff’s Posse – Pecos Rodeo grounds have been set up for pets and livestock.

Road Closures: Highway 63 beginning at mile marker 13, north toward Jack’s 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.

Summary: The fire was active with movement to the south and west and some movement to the north. The fire has burned about one mile into the Viveash Fire scar. The high temperatures, heavy winds and heavy fuels have contributed to today’s active fire behavior. All air support was grounded by mid-morning because of the high winds. The fire crossed the fire lines that had been established which accounts for the percent of containment once again at zero percent. The predicted calmer winds and lower temperatures should help crews as they continue to work on establishing an anchor point on the north and west perimeter of the fire.

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

Smoke: Smoke will be visible tomorrow from Pecos, Las Vegas, I 25 and surrounding communities. Pecos Valley residents will experience dense smoke tomorrow morning from smoke inversion in the valley but it is expected to lift as temperatures rise. Information on wildland fire smoke and your health can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at

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