Update: Fire In Valles Caldera At 495 Acres



VCNP News:

  • Moisture slows San Antonio Fire on Valles Caldera


The lightning-caused San Antonio Fire on Valles Caldera National Preserve has grown to 495 acres and is within the northwest area of the preserve between Valle San Antonio and the northern boundary.

Firefighters were able to establish hand line along the north and southwestern flanks of the fire. In addition, air support dropped retardant lines along the fire perimeter. Today’s forecasted rain and higher humidity are expected to aid in firefighting efforts.

The Albuquerque Zone Incident Management Type 3 Team is now in command of the fire. Resources consist of more than 150 fire personnel.

Objectives: Firefighter and public safety; containment of the fire while protecting values at risk.

Restrictions: The Valle Grande entrance station and bookstore will remain open to the public, and ranger-led tours and hikes will be offered in the park’s cabin district. All other access and activities have been suspended. NM 4 is open to traffic.

Closures:  A temporary flight restriction has been ordered, is in effect over the fire area, and remains in place until further notice. This restriction includes drones or unmanned aerial vehicles. Please remember that “If you fly, we can’t!” The public is reminded that Valles Caldera National Preserve and Santa Fe National Forest is still under Stage 3 Closure due to extreme fire danger, no public access is allowed.

Because of the location and elevation, smoke from the burn may be visible from all directions coming into the Jemez Mountains area. Smoke is expected to linger in neighboring communities including Los Alamos, La Cueva, Sierra Los Pinos, Jemez Springs, Ponderosa, Jemez Pueblo and areas near NM State Route 4. Communities surrounding the Jemez Mountains may also see smoke.

Smoke may be a health concern for children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and those suffering from allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities, or other heart or lung diseases. To reduce exposure to smoke, stay indoors as much as possible with windows, doors, and vents closed. Avoid or limit physical activities outdoors.

Information on health impacts from smoke can be found by calling the New Mexico Department of Health at 1-888-878-8992 or visiting https://nmtracking.org/fire.

Smoke fills the sky Friday at the Valles Caldera where a lightening-caused fire that started Thursday has now consumed 495 acres. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com