9:28 p.m. – The Thompson Ridge Fire has grown to around 7,400 acres after a day of high fire activity.
More than 550 firefighters were fighting the blaze Tuesday, a decrease from 600 as a Type 2 command team comes in.
Keep with ABQJournal.com for updates and pick up a copy of tomorrow’s paper for more information.
4:08 p.m. — The Thompson Ridge Fire has prompted the closure of Fenton Lake State Park and the Valle Grande staging area.
The fire is expected to stay active today due to high temperatures and winds, with westerly gusts near 30 mph. The fire is about half a mile west of a dozen or so vacant lodges in Valles Caldera.
As a result, crews have established a sprinkler system aimed at slowing and diverting the flames around the lodges. The winds and fire activity have also added to the ominous smoke plume visible from Santa Fe and elsewhere.
That plume is expected to grow throughout the day, according to a US Forestry spokeswoman.
“With these winds, the plumes up here are pretty big today,” spokeswoman Jan Bardwell said. “It’s just being wind driven and weather driven. It really could release a lot.”
The Thompson Ridge fire in the Jemez Mountains doubled in size yesterday, and is now up to 4,450 acres, according to data collected in an overnight reconnaissance flight. The additional 2,221 acres burned included an area on the south flank of the fire on the slopes of Redondo Peak.
On the east side of the fire, near the Thompson Ridge subdivision, there was some fire activity, but not much, the spotters reported. Here is the latest map data, courtesy of the National Interagency Fire Center:
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