Today’s Weather May Create Smoke Plumes From Thompson Ridge Fire

Smoke plume from the Thompson Ridge Fire June 8 looking west from Los Alamos toward the Jemez. Photo by Leland Lehman/

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,903; 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: 4 crews, 11 engines, 4 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 235 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: There has been no new perimeter growth in several days. Yesterday helicopter water drops were used throughout the day to cool areas of the fire that threatened to become active as the burning period progressed. Most of the activity continues to be within the interior of the fire where unburned fuels continue to smolder and burn. Most of the rehab that can be done at this point in the fire has been completed. Today crews will continue mop up and patrol all divisions of the fire. A repeat of yesterday’s weather is predicted today as winds increase, humidity drops to single digits and warmer temperatures could contribute to increased fire activity within the interior, which may create smoke plumes.

The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team will continue fire damage assessments and present its findings at a public meeting tonight at 5:30–7:30 p.m. at the Valles Caldera Science and Education Center in Jemez Springs. For more information on BAER and directions to the meeting, go to or call (707) 853-4243. 

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 and

Openings: The main entrance to the Valles Caldera National Preserve is open from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. 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 at 8 a.m. Monday, June 24. The exceptions to this closure 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. 

For more information regarding the fire, visit


LOS ALAMOS website support locally by OviNuppi Systems