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New Mexico Science

Science, climate, weather and water from a New Mexico perspective

Updated: Thompson Ridge fire burning more than 3,000 acres

Thompson Ridge fire, 6/3/2013
Thompson Ridge fire, 6/3/2013
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Smoke from the the Thompson Ridge fire rises above the Jemez Mountains on Monday, June 3, 2013.

Smoke from the the Thompson Ridge fire rises above the Jemez Mountains on Monday, June 3, 2013.

8:45 p.m.: Margo Whitt, a spokeswoman for the Thompson Ridge Fire, said the fire has now burned 3,229 acres and is still only 5 percent contained.

She said the fire spread 1.5 miles to the north about 3 p.m. this afternoon when weather conditions shifted. She said the cloud cover lifted, temperatures rose, the humidity dropped and the wind picked up. She said crews were expecting the “significant fire behavior” this afternoon and more of the same is expected tomorrow.

Officials will hold a public meeting tomorrow at 7:45 p.m. in the Madonna Parish Hall in Jemez Springs. The hall is off Highway 4 between mile markers 15 and 16.

 


7 P.M.: Fire officials at the Valle Grande staging area say they expect to release more information about the size of the fire and its containment by 9 p.m. Terry McDermott, a spokesman at the staging area, said the winds were expected to reach 12 mph today and although there was a thunderstorm, officials have not reported any moisture. He said the staging area remains open to the public but all other access points to the Valles Caldera are closed.


 

The Thompson Ridge fire in the Jemez Mountains north of the town of Jemez Springs crept rather than leapt Sunday, as cooler weather and lighter winds slowed its progress, but it still managed to put on 487 acres, growing to an estimated 2,229 acres, according to data gathered during an overnight reconnaissance flight.

The data collected during the overflight suggested the fire was not as hot as the previous night, with the most significant expansion and heat on the fire’s southern perimeter. Courtesy of the National Interagency Fire Center and Google Earth, here’s a map of the overnight fire boundaries:

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