Dog Head Fire Update: 98 percent contained

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CHILILI, N.M. (KRQE) – Fire officials say that the Dog Head Fire is now 98 percent contained. Most of the assigned crews, equipment and support resources have been released.

A Burned Area Emergency Response team has been working to protect the impacted area from erosion and further damage; restoration work will continue through this week.

Fire officials said the damage assessment was reduced to 12 single residences and 44 other minor structures and validated by the County Assessor.

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Albuquerque Zone Type 3 Team assumed command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning after transitioning out with the Type One team Friday.

The Southwest Incident Management Team Commander says no additional public meetings are planned unless there is a significant change in fire conditions.

Gov. Martinez announced Tuesday that she has directed multiple state agencies to begin developing a recovery plan for the Dog Head Fire.

The governor’s offices say the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security will work with the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the State Police, as well as federal partners, local and community organizations, and the business community to evaluate needs and plan for recovery of the affected communities in the aftermath of the fire.

On Monday, Gov. Martinez requested damage assessments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the areas and communities affected by the Dog Head Fire.

A federal damage assessment in the affected areas will help determine what, if any, additional assistance communities and the state may be eligible for in the aftermath of the Dog Head Fire.

The Board of County Commissioners Sunday approved an administrative resolution to declare Bernalillo County in a state of emergency.

“The county is expending a tremendous amount of resources to support and care for the displaced residents,” says Vice Chair Wayne Johnson. “This declaration allows the county to recover costs associated with the fire and continue to provide for those affected.”

The fire has burned 17,912 acres fueled by heavy dead/down timber and ponderosa pine stands.

Officials say the Dog Head Fire was human caused and it is still being investigated.

Type One Fire: All Hands on Deck

More than 900 firefighters worked around the clock for over a week since the Dog Head Fire started Tuesday, June 14. The fire moved fast through the Manzano Mountains heading north and took homes with it.

On Monday, firefighters aggressively extinguished hot spots from the ground and air, allowing containment to increase from 9 percent to 46 percent in the northeast corner, much of the southeast side, the southwest corner, and most of the southern flank.

Additional fireline was constructed on Tuesday on the northeast and east side of the fire increasing containment from 46 percent to 61 percent.

On Wednesday, minimal fire behavior was observed and the containment increased to 68 percent, and then increasing again to 83 percent by Friday.

On the west side of the fire, firefighters rehabilitated dozer line, conducted chipping operations, and continued mop up and patrolled. On the northeast side, fire officials say they dropped 2,000 gallons of retardant to assist firefighters on the ground in isolated pockets of heat. Stumps and large diameter logs within the fires perimeter fire continue to smolder.

Slow moving storm cells moved across the fire Friday bringing variable amounts of rain and wind.

Saturday operations on the fire are to continue mop-up, hold and patrol around the perimeter, finish securing the east side of the fire, and suppression repair and rehab, according to fire officials.

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