News Update 6/16 Am
Incident: Thompson Ridge Fire Wildfire
Acres: 23,903 Start date: May 31, 2013
Cause: Downed powerline Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve, NM
Containment: 80 percent Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine
Terrain: Steep, rugged Resources: 8 crews, 22 engines, 17 water tenders, 2 dozers
Total personnel: 602 Available air support: 3 helicopters
Summary: Last night interior fuel continued to burn but no new growth or interior runs were observed. There were some isolated thunderstorms over the fire. Today firefighters will patrol the fire line and mop-up any hot spots within the perimeter of the fire. We can expect gusty winds associated with thunderstorms but fire behavior should be minimal. Work continues along State Highway 4 with the removal of cut vegetation. Rehabilitation of the dozer and hand lines around the fire continue. Firefighters remove hazard trees along the roads, chip felled trees, re-establish drainage systems, remove debris and more.
National Guard crews will assist firefighters today with removal of hoses and equipment from areas that are no longer under threat from fire. Many of the crews and engines that have suppressed the Thompson Ridge Fire are being released to respond to other incidents or return to their home units.
Rehabilitation of fire damage will be addressed by the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team. Specialists of different disciplines will work with the various agencies and pueblos affected by the fire to assess damage and recommend actions to protect the burned area and mitigate hazards. Further information about BAER may be noted in their attached news release. Their information number is (707) 853-4243.
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.
Closures: 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.
For more information regarding the fire, please visit www.inciweb.org or follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ThompsonRdgFire . Additional photos and information are available at www.facebook.com/ThompsonRdgFire and www.flickr.com/ThompsonRdgFire.
Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)
BAER Information: (707) 853-4243
Assessment Update – June 16,
- A Forest Service BAER assessment team has been assembled to begin their on-the-ground analysis for the recent Thompson Ridge wildfire that burned approximately 24,000 acres on the Valles Caldera National Preserve (www.vallescaldera.gov/).
- BAER assessment teams are comprised of specialists that are highly experienced in conducting rapid watershed assessments and analyses and may include soil scientists, hydrologists, geologists, biologists, geographic information system specialists, archeologists, botanists, silviculturists, and civil engineers.
- The BAER team is working for Valles Caldera National Preserve and coordinating with tribal groups, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Fish and Wildlife Service, state agencies, counties, cities, and other local agencies in support of their rapid BAER assessment efforts.
- After the BAER assessment report is finalized, it will be shared with affected local, county, state, tribal and other federal agencies.
- If the BAER assessment team determines that an emergency condition exists, a variety of emergency response actions could be recommended. Specialists may recommend enlarging or unplugging culverts, and removing structures that could block water flow, trap sediment, or impact water quality. The team may recommend certain areas be posted with warning signs, barriers, and/or closures to limit access to hazardous areas. Some areas within the fire may not be suitable for these actions due to many factors such as the steepness of the slope, certain types of soils, and access to the area.
- One of the most effective BAER emergency action is to continue interagency coordination with local cooperators.
- Even after prescribed emergency actions are implemented to minimize the post-fire risks, the burned area may still pose a risk to adjacent areas from potential mudflows and flash flooding. Residents living near burned areas need to monitor weather reports and public safety bulletins, and be aware of current weather conditions and forecasts.
Thompson Ridge BAER Team information is available at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3404/.