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UPDATED: Tres Lagunas Fire grows to 9,000 acres, is 15% contained after slow day

9:31 p.m. — The Tres Lagunas Fire has grown to 9,000 acres and is 15 percent contained, according to a fire information spokesman.

More than 750 firefighters are fighting the blaze, which is burning near Pecos.

 

Keep with ABQJournal.com for updates, and pick up tomorrow’s Albuquerque Journal for more.


Warm temperatures and low relative humidity on today haven’t helped efforts to combat the Tres Lagunas Fire, which had burned 8,660 acres in the Santa Fe National Forest and Pecos Wilderness by this morning.

Fire crews continued to focus attention in the Holy Ghost Canyon, where a subdivision made up of several homes are located.

An irrigation system set up to douse the property has been running continuously for several days and helicopters and tanker planes have dumped water in the area in an effort to thwart the threat.

Rita Baysinger, a spokesperson for the Tres Lagunas Fire, said so far it has proven successful.

“The fire came down all the way to the bottom of Holy Ghost Canyon, and it came down just how they wanted it to,” she said. “It got down to the bottom and just went out.”

In addition, some of the 600 firefighters attacking the blaze worked to establish a direct fire line from Indian Creek toward Holy Ghost to seal off the fire in that section of the forest.

As of this morning, no structures have been destroyed, but John Pierson, incident commander for the fire, said on Monday that flames have come as close as 20 feet to some buildings.

Another major concern is that the fire could spread east into the Gallinas River watershed, the source of about 90 percent of the water supply for the city of Las Vegas, N.M., population 13,700.

Firefighters are trying to seal the east side of the fire from the watershed against prevailing westerly winds. A public meeting about the fire will be held in Las Vegas tonight.

Crews have been working to construct a line in the northeast portion of the fire to tie into Forest Road 92 in the southeast corner.

On Monday, a spot fire ignited ahead of the main blaze on the east side.

“Night crews were out for the first time, just to get to that spot,” Baysinger said. “There’s been a lot of attention put in that area, working with helicopters to put that out.”

Baysinger said the spot fire consumed between 30 and 40 acres.

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The Tres Lagunas fire, in the mountains east of Santa Fe, grew by 670 acres yesterday to 8,660 acres, according to data collected during an overnight infrared reconnaissance flight. Spotters saw saw the most fire activity in the northwest quadrant of the fire, in the Holy Ghost Creek area. Here is the map, data courtesy of the National Interagency Fire Center:

2013_06_04-08.16.24.523-CDT

 


View Larger Map


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