ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Wildfires continue to rage in New Mexico from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the north to the Black Range hundreds of miles away on the south.
The newest one growing rapidly in the Pecos Wilderness is the Jaroso Fire that so far has burned about 1,300 acres in a remote area of the Santa Fe National Forest north of Santa Fe and east of Española.
Lightening sparked the blaze Monday afternoon, and firefighters are mostly attacking it from the air.
The few on the ground left the area because it was unsafe.
- (See below for detailed fire updates.)
The Silver Fire has burned more than 2,200 acres in the Gila National Forest and force the evacuation of the historic mining town of Kingston.
The fire remains out of control with firefighters expecting it to keep growing.
At last report the fire was 1.5 miles from Kingston
The fire started Friday from a lightning strike about 50 miles east of Silver City.
Twenty-one miles of State Route 152 remain closed through the Black Range and over Emory Pass between San Lorenzo on the west and Hillsboro on the east.
The Thompson Ridge Fire in the Jemez Mountains is now 50 percent contained, and residents evacuated from Thompson Ridge, Rancho de la Cueva and Elk Valley are now being allowed back home.
The fire has charred nearly 22,000 acres.
There are more than 1,000 firefighters working on this fire.
And firefighters working the Tres Lagunas Fire also are making progress.
It's now 70 percent contained after burning a little more than 10,000 acres north of Pecos.
Firefighters hope to have it all under control later this week.
Folks who live north of Windy Ridge are still out of their homes although utility teams have been able to get in and restore power and phone service.
The fire is listed as human-caused.
Silver Fire, Tuesday, June 11, a.m.
The 6,700 acre Silver Fire transitioned from a local Type III organization to the Northern Arizona Type II Incident Management Team (IMT) led by Incident Commander Matt Reidy at 8:00 p.m. Monday. The fire is (1.5) miles west of Kingston, NM.
The lightning caused Silver Fire was reported at 3:00 p.m. on June 7. The fire is being managed in a full suppression strategy. The fire was immediately and aggressively attacked using all available aerial and ground firefighting resources. In spite of the efforts of firefighters, the fire could not be contained. The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain with limited access. According to Forest Supervisor Kelly Russell, the safety of the public and our firefighters is the number one priority followed by the protection of the community of Kingston and surrounding private lands.
A mandatory evacuation order was successfully implemented for the residents of Kingston. An evacuation center has been established in Hillsboro at the Community Center. New Mexico State Route 152 is closed through the Black Range from San Lorenzo to Hillsboro and the Royal John road is closed to the public but remains open to residents.
More than 350 personnel are assigned to the incident including seven hotshot crews, three 20-person crews, 10 engines, and two dozers. Due to the large amount of fire activity in the state, competition for resources is high.
Jaroso Fire, June 11, 2013, 10:00 a.m.
- Location: Española Ranger District within the Pecos Wilderness, approximately six miles southeast of Borrego Mesa.
- Time/Date Reported: June 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm
- Legal Description: T19N, R11E, Sec 1
- Size: 360 acres based on June 11 0217 MDT Infrared Heat data. The fire is projected to grow up to 1,000 acres by Tuesday morning.
- Cause: Lightning
- Fuels: Mixed conifer, heavy dead and down fuels with pockets of bug-killed trees and 1,300 acres of downed timber caused by a wind event six years ago.
- Size: 360 acres
- % Contained: No containment at this time
- Resources: Earlier today air attack, three Type 1 helicopters, one Type 2 helicopter, one Type 3 helicopter, one large air tanker and one lead plane assisted with aerial suppression activities.
The Jaroso fire is burning in the Pecos Wilderness in very remote/steep terrain with abundant fuels, which is contributing to extreme fire behavior. Firefighter safety is a main priority at this time. Monday evening all ground resources, including five rappellers and eight smokejumpers were pulled off the fire due to unsafe conditions. Based on Mondays observations and fire modeling, fire managers will continue to assess the fire Monday night and again Tuesday morning to determine the safest way to suppress the fire.
Earlier Monday air attack, three Type 1 helicopters, one Type 2 helicopter, one Type 3 helicopter, one large air tanker and one lead plane assisted with aerial suppression activities. All ground resources, including five rappellers and eight smokejumpers were pulled off the fire due to unsafe conditions. Tuesday�s available resources include: five Type 1 crews, one Type 2 Initial Attack crew and air support. Ground resources will only be used if conditions are
Structures/threats: No structures in Pecos Wilderness, no communities threatened at this time.
Tres Lagunas Fire, Tuesday June 11, 10:40 a.m.
PUBLIC MEETING June 12, 6 pm in the Pecos High School Auditorium
Start Date: May 30, 2013
Location: 10 miles North of Pecos, NM
Total personnel: 783
Terrain: steep, rugged
Today's Actions: Mop up, backhauling of equipment, and fire line rehabilitation will be the focus of today's operations. Mop up includes extinguishing or removing burning material near containment lines, felling snags, and trenching logs to prevent rolling after an area has burned. Firefighters will continue to improve existing fireline and build additional direct fireline on ridges and steep slopes on the east, northeast, and southeast areas of the fire. Resources and equipment are gradually being demobilized.
The road block on Highway 63 at Windy Bridge Day Use Area will be removed at 12:00 p.m. today. Private landowners who live north of Windy Bridge will be able to access their private property starting at Noon today. The public is reminded that the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District is closed to public entry due to extreme fire danger including the entire Pecos Wilderness. The District closure pertains to all recreational uses (fishing, camping, hiking, etc.) including recreation resident leasees or permittees on national forest land. For questions about the District closure, please call the Pecos Ranger District at 505-757-6121.
NM Game and Fish lands in the Pecos Canyon are also closed to all recreational use.
Due to heavy fire traffic, residents returning to their homes should avoid driving on Highway 63 before 8:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m. Residents are urged to drive slowly and use extreme caution.
Electricity has been restored to all evacuated areas except for Holy Ghost Canyon. Century Link continues to repair phone lines in the area.
Today's Weather: A Red Flag Warning is in effect in the fire area. Hot and dry conditions continue today with temperatures remaining well above normal. Stronger and gustier west/southwest winds are expected today with low humidity.
Thompson Ridge Fire, June 11, 8 a.m.
- Acres: 21,871
- Start date: May 31, 2013
- Cause: Downed powerline
- Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve, NM
- Containment: 50 percent
- Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine
- Terrain: Steep, rugged
- Resources: 20 crews, 49 engines, 32 water tenders, 5 dozers
- Total personnel: 1,003
- Available air support: 3 air tankers, 6 helicopters
Very active fire behavior was observed yesterday within the perimeter and will continue today due to atmospheric conditions. Much of the interior burning that occurred yesterday and through the night was reburn. The first time the fire moves through the forest it may burn low to the ground as a surface fire preheating and drying the crowns. Then the fire can come back through a second time and burn the crowns. This is what occurred yesterday in some areas of the interior and will most likely occur today.
Fire made some runs close to the north and south perimeters of the fire but stayed inside the containment lines. On the north side of the fire, firefighters will continue to patrol, mop up and hold the line while searching for hot spots. On the south side of the fire, firefighters will continue to improve and secure the line and watch for hot spots.
Smoke plumes will be seen very early today and continue after dark as we encounter very high winds, low humidity and unstable atmospheric conditions.
Evacuations: A pre- evacuation notice remains in effect for Bennett Subdivision.
Smoke: Smoke from the Thompson Ridge Fire is evident in several communities. Communities in the region will be impacted by smoke from this fire and other fires in the area. Smoke sensitive persons in these areas need to be alert to this possibility and be prepared to take any necessary precautions. For more smoke information and air quality forecasts, please visit the New Mexico Environment Department website .
Road and Fire Area Closure: All points of entry to the Valles Caldera National Preserve are closed to public access due to fire activity. The Fenton Lake State Park is also closed to the public.
Open and active: Communities in and around the Santa Fe National Forest remain open and accessible including Jemez Springs, Jemez Pueblo, Santa Clara Pueblo, Los Alamos and Bandelier National Monument. Camping, hiking and other recreational opportunities are available in these areas.
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