Lightning sparked the Venado Fire that began Friday in the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest, which has now consumed 1,071 acres of Ponderosa Pine.
Start Date: July 20
Size: 1,071 acres
Location: Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest
Containment: 0 percent
Fuel: Ponderosa Pine
Weather: Low-level moisture is moving toward the Venado Fire, increasing the chance for precipitation. Possible thunderstorms may bring lightning, heavy rain and gusty winds.
Resources on scene: Four interagency hotshot crews, one type 3 helicopter, one type 2 dozer, one rapid extraction module, and four engines.
Situation: The fire is in a remote location on Mesa Venado and in an adjacent drainage area, one mile and a half north of Deer Creek Landing, and three quarters of a mile east of Joaquin Mesa. The forest is inaccessible from the south end of FR 376.
Firefighters established a firm eastern boundary along FR 376 yesterday and continue to hold the fire’s northern boundary to protect the Joaquin piles unit located north of the fire. The western boundary is Skyline Road, and the southern boundary is a burn scar area from the July 2017 Peggy Fire.
Public and firefighter safety is the number one priority. Firefighters continue to suppress the fire where they can, safely and effectively, to protect and minimize fire effects to values at risk, including numerous archaeological and cultural heritage sites, Jemez Pueblo Trust lands, the 1,300-acre Joaquin fuels reduction treatment area, and critical habitat for the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse and the Mexican spotted owl.
Firefighters are scouting areas west and southwest of the fire to identify the best contingency lines. Firefighters will continue to pursue potential opportunities to create fireline closer to the current fire perimeter if conditions are favorable.
Closures: Due to fire behavior, FR 376 is closed from Gilman Tunnels to Porter Landing. Campers and day trip visitors in the vicinity are being notified by USDA Forest Service law enforcement to leave the area.
Smoke/Air Quality: Because of the location and elevation, smoke from the Venado Fire will be visible from all directions coming into the Jemez Mountains area. Smoke is expected to linger in neighboring communities including Gilman, Jemez Pueblo and areas near NM State Route 4. Smoke may be visible from I-25, Jemez Springs, Santa Fe and Bernalillo.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease should be prepared to exercise precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website https://nmtracking.org/fire or by calling 1-888-878-8992. For information on the HEPA filter loan program: https://www.santafefireshed.org/hepa-filter-loan-program/.