Login for full access to ABQJournal.com

New Users: Subscribe here


UPDATED: Romero Fire in Bosque At 359 Acres, 50 Percent Containment


Click on a photo to buy reprints online or call our library at 505-823-3490.

7:15 p.m. – Officials are reporting that the Romero Fire has burned 359 acres. It remains 50 percent contained.

1:59 p.m. — Sandia Pueblo Gov. Malcolm Montoya issued a statement today noting that the pueblo is cooperating with other agencies in battling the Romero blaze. The fire began Wednesday in Corrales but was quickly blown across the river onto the reservation.

“There were no structural damages and no loss of life. For safety concerns we decided to evacuate seniors and those with respiratory concerns to safer locations,” Montoya’s statement said.

“Highway 313 will remain closed for safety concerns and easy access for the agencies fighting the fire.

“The business enterprises experienced some minor smoke yesterday and no damages. The Pueblo government and all business enterprises will continue to operate its normal hours of operation.”

Journal reporter Olivier Uyttebrouck and photographer Adolphe Pierre-Louis toured much of the fire this morning, reporting uneven damage. In some areas, entire stands of trees have been burned, while in others, the damage is more limited and appears to have stayed close to the ground.

Firefighters have been able to keep the blaze west of N.M. 313, which runs through the pueblo to the town of Bernalillo.

1:47 p.m. – The Romero fire is now 50 percent contained, fire officials said early this afternoon.

Crews on the west side of the river are working mostly on mop up operations, and the fire “is looking pretty good,” said officer Terri Wildermuth with the ABQ Zone Type III Team.

The east side is less contained, and winds could spread the fire further later in the day. Crews on the east side are working on reinforcing perimeter lines and mopping up hot spots, Wildermuth said.

No more structures were threatened as the blaze burned this morning.

1:13 p.m. – Highway 313 is still closed between Tramway and Bernalillo today, with exceptions for residents and emergency crews, police said.

The roadway was closed yesterday evening as the fire neared. Railrunner trains are running on a normal schedule today.

9:57 a.m. – About 80 people were evacuated from the Sandia Pueblo last night due to smoke concerns, according to this morning’s report on the Romero Fire.

No new evacuations were ordered this morning, the release from the N.M. State Forestry Division said. Thirty to 40 structures remain threatened, but none face immediate danger.

The number of acres burned remained at 288, and the containment hasn’t changed as well: 0 percent east of the river, and 70 percent on the west according to Sandoval County.

Gusty winds could hamper crews’ efforts today to further construct containment lines, the release said. There is little fire activity on the west side of the river near Corrales at this time.

8:47 a.m. by the Associated Press — More than 100 firefighters are battling a blaze in wooded area along the Rio Grande on the northern edge of New Mexico’s largest city.

State Forestry spokesman Dan Ware said today that the wildfire is roughly estimated at 288 acres and has not burned any structures since it began Wednesday afternoon. Its cause is still unknown.

Firefighters worked overnight to build containment lines against the fire that is raging on both sides of the Rio Grande in an area known around Albuquerque as the Bosque. Crews were helped by lowering temperatures and a slight rise in humidity.

Ware said no new evacuation orders have been issued. However, fire officials have limited access to the Sandia Pueblo and told residents near the fire to be on alert.

6:07 a.m. – The Romero Fire burning on both sides of the Rio Grande in the bosque near Corrales has scorched 288 acres according to the latest estimates before an official GPS mapping is done this morning, KOB-TV is reporting. That’s nearly three times as big as the 100 acres reported late Wednesday.

A fire spreads quickly in the bosque behind St. Anthony Catholic Church on Sandia Pueblo on Wednesday. The fire did not threaten the church, but several homes on the pueblo had to be evacuated. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

According to KOAT-TV, the fire burning on the west side of the river is 70 percent contained, while no containment is being reported on the east side.

An estimated 30 to 40 structures are said to be threatened, but no homes or buildings have been destroyed so far, the New Mexico Forestry Division has said in its latest report.

Corrales Road is now open in both directions, but N.M. 313 is closed in both directions from Tramway/Roy Road to U.S. 550, according to Action 7 News.

Read previous post:
Butterfly Festival Back on at State Park

RATON (AP) — A state park in northeastern New Mexico is hosting a butterfly festival that was canceled last year......