Thursday

Thompson Ridge Fire - Valles Caldera National Preserve

The Thompson Ridge Fire has now burned 11,000-acres within the Valles Caldera National Preserve, nearly doubling in size since Monday. On early Wednesday morning, wildland fire crews hoped that the forecast rainfall would assist firefighting efforts. By late morning those hopes fizzled as temperatures rose and humidity levels fell. The fire moved from the steep slopes of the Redondo, where it had been burning for days, into the iconic grassland of the Valles Grande. For a short time the flames threatened old growth trees within the History Grove, century old structures and the preserve headquarters. A DC-10 air tanker, 800+ ground crew personnel, and aerial ignition helicopter crew are currently battling the blaze full force to expand the containment area beyond 5%. The fire is primarily burning in extremely rugged terrain, making it exceedingly difficult for ground crews to carry out their work. According to InciWeb, the Thompson Ridge Fire started last Friday in Sulfur Springs Canyon, at the western edge of the Valles Caldera National Preserve boundary. While the exact cause of the fire remains unconfirmed; authorities are suggesting a downed power lines sparked the blaze. - Text and Photo via NMBR (Photo: Valle Grande | Valles Caldera National Preserve | Sandoval County, NM) Thompson Ridge Fire Infrared Map - Firing operations continued on roads on the north and east flanks of the fire. Late night/early morning fire actively moved into the Valles Caldera National Preserve's Historic District. Structure protection plans were implemented and all structures were protected. Retardant was used to check fire spread on the south side of Redondo Peak to mitigate cultural values. Spot fire north of the VC06 road was contained. Mop up and holding continued on west flank of fire. - Text and Map via InciWeb
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