News Release June 2, 11:30 AM
Incident: Thompson Ridge Fire Wildfire
Acres: 1,745 Start date: May 31, 2013
Cause: Under Investigation Location: 2 miles northeast of La Cueva, NM
Containment: None Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine
Terrain: Steep, rugged Resources: 4 crews, 11 engines, 2 water tenders, 2 dozer
Total personnel: 220 Available air support: 3 helicopters
Summary: The Arizona Central West Zone Incident Management Team, Bea Day Incident Commander, assumed responsibility for the direction of the suppression efforts on the Thompson Ridge Fire at 6 a.m. this morning.
Driven by strong, gusty winds, the Thompson Ridge Fire was very active Friday, running and spotting to the east northeast. Low relative humidity and dense dry fuels contributed to the extreme fire behavior which continued on Saturday without the strong winds. Firefighters established line along the west side of the fire, tying into established roads in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The fire grew on all sides during the day. During the night, with very little humidity recovery, the fire continued to grow.
Today firefighters on the southern and western perimeter of the fire will work to secure the line at the heel of the fire and protect structures on the private land at the west side of the fire. Burnout operations may be conducted to improve both hand and dozer lines if weather conditions permit
An increase in humidity is expected today with the possibility of precipitation. While the rain would be helpful, there is also the possibility of erratic winds and lightning which would create increased fire behavior and more hazardous conditions for firefighters.
A public meeting was held yesterday afternoon at the Cerro de los Pinos Volunteer Fire Department. Governor Susana Martinez was in attendance. There will be another meeting there today at 3 p.m. The Governor will again be there.
Evacuations: An evacuation order is in 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.
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.