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Updated: Jemez fire grows to 1,200 acres

The Thompson Fire is seen burning in the Jemez Mountains on Friday, May 31, 2013. (Courtesy of Khalil Spencer)
The Thompson Fire is seen burning in the Jemez Mountains on Friday, May 31, 2013. (Courtesy of Khalil Spencer)
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The Thompson Ridge Fire showing burning in the Jemez this morning. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

 

10:52 p.m. – The Thompson Ridge Fire was estimated to be 1,200 acres in size, according to the latest update provided by a Santa Fe National Forest spokesman.

The agency also said a public meeting to discuss the fire will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Cerro de los Pinos Volunteer Fire Department Station 52 at N.M. 4 and the north end of Forest Road 10.

 

8:04 p.m. — The Thompson Ridge Fire was estimated to have grown to around 800 acres, and crews that have been arriving all day Saturday are getting ready to begin an aggressive attack at the fire’s south side.

Two hotshot crews arrived Saturday to try and “button up” the south side of the fire, which is burning mostly on Valles Caldera land near Jemez Springs, after a full day of “direct line” fighting that established perimeters on the fire’s north and west sides, according to a U.S. Forest Service spokesman.

While that leaves the fire’s east edge wide open, established fire lines at three of the four sides is pretty good for the two-day old fire, he said.

 

For more about the Thompson Ridge Fire, keep with ABQjournal.com and pick up a copy of tomorrow’s newspaper.

 

9:58 a.m. — Overnight surveillance had the Thompson Ridge Fire still at about 650 acres, including some land burning in the Valles Caldera National Preserve, according to State Forestry officials.

Firefighters could get a break with the weather this weekend — or not.

Moist air is supposed to move into the state early Sunday, with locally heavy rain forecast for central and southeast New Mexico. But western New Mexico could get dry lightning storms this afternoon and Sunday.


– The following article appeared on page A4 of the June 1, 2013, edition of the Albuquerque Journal

by Patrick Lohmann / Journal Staff Writer

A fire that ignited in rugged terrain north of Jemez Springs on Friday was sparked by a power line – the same cause as the Tres Lagunas Fire in Pecos Canyon.

The Thompson Ridge Fire started around 2:40 p.m. after a tree fell on a power line and burned at least 650 acres of brush, grass and timber and may have burned as much as 800 acres as of 10 p.m. Friday.

Between 40 and 50 homes in the area were evacuated due to the blaze, and one home was partially damaged before quickly being doused.

More than 80 personnel were fighting the blaze Friday night, and a helicopter was pulled from the Tres Lagunas Fire for use in the Jemez fire.

Smoke from the blaze poured into Santa Fe on Friday evening, irritating some residents’ eyes. The fire also spilled from private land onto land owned by the Valles Caldera National Preserve as winds leapt to 25 mph, State Forestry said.

John Parmenter, director of Scientific Services Division at the nearby Valles Caldera National Preserve, said the blaze ignited in a steep area that was slated to be thinned in the next few years due to its density and fire risk.

“The area that it’s in is very steep terrain leading up to the Valles Caldera,” he

said. “It could burn a lot of forest…There’s a lot of fuel in there.”

Should the fire move southwest of the Caldera, he said, it could be slowed down by reaching an area that was already thinned. But as it stands now, the fire could crawl up to Redondo Peak and then onto the preserve.

Winds were intense Friday and temperatures were in the high 70s, factors Parmenter hopes will subside to help the fire burn low and slow.

“We’re hoping that the winds will die down,” he said. “If it stays low to the ground, that’s probably OK.”

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