Las Conchas Fire – Los Alamos, NM

Updated – July 12, 2011 10:00 am
Overview: The flash flood watch continues through this evening for portions of north and central New Mexico, including the Jemez Mountains, portions of the southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains above 9500 feet, and the southwest mountains and west slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

It does not take a heavy downpour to cause flash flooding after a wildfire. Severely burned soils can be as water repellant as pavement, with rapid runoff instead of absorption. Even a short period of moderate rainfall can lead to flash floods or debris flows. Rapidly moving flood waters can pick up large amounts of debris that can damage or destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings.

While rain can pose a threat on a burn area, it can also help with fire control. The rain can directly extinguish fire burning on the surface of the soil and in light fuels. The increased humidity makes fuels less likely to catch fire, slowing fire spread. Rain causes hot areas to smoke or steam, making them easier to find during mop-up. Firefighters stir moistened surface soil into deeper pockets of embers to help cool them, without needing to drag hoses.

For the last few days, increases in fire acreage have come from burnout operations. There are several sections of the fire where the containment lines have been established away from the fire edge. This is often done in very steep, broken ground where there is no safe location to construct lines directly adjacent to the fire. The areas between the containment lines and the fire edges are usually deliberately burned out, resulting in an increase in acreage but a more secure fire edge.

Tommorow will be the last update produced by the Joint Information Center. Continued updates will be produced by the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team.

Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve; and state and private in-holdings.

Cause: Human
Size: 148,790 acres
Percent Contained: 50%
Total Personnel: 1511 including 29 crews
Resources: 18 Helicopters; 53 Engines; 34 Water Tenders; 5 Dozers
Residences: 410 threatened; 63 destroyed
Commercial Property: 45 threatened; 0 destroyed
Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 44 destroyed; 2 damaged
Injuries to Date: 8

NORTH ZONE – Communities/areas of Santa Clara, Chicoma Mountain, Recheulos, Vallecitos (south of Abiquiu), Abiquiu, Mendanales, Los Alamos, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, Cuba, La Jara, Regina, Gallina, Youngsville, Coyote, Canones, and surrounding areas:

All parts of the North Zone are now primarily in mop-up and patrol status. Minor fire activity, mainly creeping and smoldering, was observed yesterday on the east side of the fire, south of Los Alamos. Light rain on the fire area helped with mop-up.

Today’s weather is predicted to be cooler with higher relative humidity and possible thunderstorms. With rain in the forecast through this evening, the flash flood watch remains in effect. Fire crews hope to take advantage of predicted rains to help with mop-up operations today. The challenge for firefighters will be monitoring the potential for increased fire activity due to winds, while being ready for flash flood conditions.

Although some fire resources are being released as their assignments are completed, many will stay on this incident. A significant amount of fireline rehabilitation work still needs to be completed. Weather for tomorrow and the rest of this week is expected to be warmer and drier.

Residual fuels burning within the fire perimeter may continue to produce smoke that is visible from nearby communities.

SOUTH ZONE – Communities/areas including Bandelier National Monument, Bland and Cochiti Canyons, Bearhead Peak, La Cueva, Vallecitos de Los Indios, Sierra Los Pinos and surrounding areas:

Bandelier: This area is being monitored by helicopter. Residents may occasionally see light smoke in the area, from fire well within the established control line.

Bland and Cochiti Canyons: Crews continue patrolling the canyons to identify and mop-up any hot spots. Engines, helicopters and other firefighting resources are in position to respond to any area needing additional support. The fire has not dropped below the mesa edge.

Bearhead Peak: Crews continue to hold and secure lines along Peralta Ridge, from Peralta Ridge to Forest Road 266, and in other areas as needed. Additional burnout may be done if conditions permit. Crews are scouting to the south and west, looking for other locations to construct contingency lines. If conditions permit, aerial ignition may be used to assist the fire in backing toward containment lines.

Some cultural and historical resources were identified that might be impacted by the fire backing down La Jara Canyon. Firefighters mitigated these potential impacts by removing nearby vegetation and burning out around the cultural sites. More historic sites may be identified as work continues.

Vallecitos de los Indios/Sierra Los Pinos: The line near Los Griegos is now considered secure. Crews will remain to make sure there is no additional work needed in the area, and that any interior hot spots are addressed. Structure protection is in place for the communities in the area.

Announcements

Currently the fire is divided into two zones for management purposes: the North Zone under command of Turman’s Northern Rockies Incident Management Team (IMT) and the South Zone under command of Hughes’ Southwest IMT. Turman’s IMT will assume command of the entire fire Wednesday morning.


Updated – July 9, 2011 10:00 am
Overview: Several strategies are being utilized to contain the Las Conchas Fire. In many areas, firefighters have built line directly next to the fire. These lines are then mopped up by extinguishing all heat for about a hundred feet from the edge of the line. Another approach is building indirect line, away from the fire’s edge. Firefighters then burn along these lines to create a wider area free of fuels. It may take several hours or even days for the backing fire from the control line to meet up with the wildfire.

Another strategy is being employed on many parts of this fire. With expected “monsoonal” rains, the fire may be extinguished naturally. In places where the fire is burning in extremely steep and dangerous terrain, containment lines have been established along existing trails and roads. These lines have been prepared for burn-out, but fire managers are hoping the rains will arrive before the fire reaches those lines, making the burn-out of containment lines unnecessary. As the fire moves closer, the decision to burn along these lines is continually re-evaluated.

Therefore, the fire continues to grow, put up smoke, and develop columns as both interior runs and perimeter growth occurs.

A current infrared map, perimeter map, and progression map are available. A KMZ file of the fire perimeter is available for those who have loaded Google Earth.

Safety and Health
The New Mexico Dept of Health reminds residents of toll-free numbers they can call to discuss health-related concerns due to wildfires burning in New Mexico. People who have questions about health-related issues due to smoke can call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552. Individuals who need to talk to a mental health professional can call 1-866-HELP-1-NM.

Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve; and state and private in-holdings.

Cause: Human
Size: 142,250 acres
Percent Contained: 40%
Total Personnel: 2,075 including 44 crews
Resources: 17 Helicopters; 66 Engines; 33 Water Tenders; 12 Dozers
Residences: 410 threatened; 63 destroyed
Commercial Property: 45 threatened; 0 destroyed
Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 32 destroyed
Injuries to Date: 5

NORTH ZONE – Communities/areas of Santa Clara, Chicoma Mountain, Recheulos, Vallecitos (south of Abiquiu), Abiquiu, Mendanales, Los Alamos, Pajarito Mountain Ski area and surrounding areas:

Crews will build direct fireline when possible and continue to burn-out, hold, and mop up existing firelines. Aircraft will be used to assist firefighters with holding operations along the eastern and northeastern fire edges.

Santa Clara Area/Chicoma Mountain/Recheulos/Abiquiu/ Vallecitos/Medanales: The fire continues to slowly spread up the drainage, pushing to the north toward Polvadera Peak. It is unlikely to reach the contingency line along the ridge during this burning period. Today, firefighters plan to hold the edge of the fire along the South Fork Burn area. Firefighters continue preparing a containment line that includes Vallecitos Trail from Polvadera Peak, Forest Road (FR) 144D1A, and FR 144D for burn-out.

Los Alamos Area: The fire continues to back slowly to the east and southeast. The rate of spread will increase if downslope winds develop. Control problems may arise if gusty and erratic winds occur. Firefighters will mop up and maintain the fire’s perimeter and continue providing structure protection in Santa Clara Canyon.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area: Fire behavior will be similar to the behavior in the Los Alamos area. Firefighters will continue to mop up along Pajarito Road and on the ski area. Structure protection plans for the Pajarito Ski Area are in place.

SOUTH ZONE – Communities/areas including Bandelier National Monument, Bland and Cochiti Canyons, Bearhead Peak, La Cueva, Vallecitos de Los Indios, Sierra Los Pinos and surrounding areas:

Bandelier: This area will be monitored by helicopter. Residents may occasionally see light smoke in the area, from fire well within the established control line.

Bland and Cochiti Canyons: This area continues to see little fire activity. Crews will patrol the canyons to identify and mop up any hot spots. Engines, helicopters and other firefighting resources are ready to respond to any area needing additional support.

Bearhead Peak: Crews will hold and secure both direct and indirect lines along Peralta Ridge and the line that connects Peralta Ridge to FR 266. They will scout to the south for other locations to construct line to assist in corralling the fire. Aerial ignition may be used today to back the fire towards containment lines.

Vallecitos de los Indios/Sierra Los Pinos: Crews continued to secure and mop up the containment line to Los Griegos. Structure protection is in place for the communication center and 220 homes in the vicinity.

NORTHWEST ZONE – Communities of Cuba, La Jara, Regina, Gallina, Youngsville, Coyote, Canones, and surrounding areas:
Containment lines along the west and northwest perimeter continue to keep the fire east of Cienega del Oso. Crews will patrol the Valles Caldera Preserve on the west and northwest edge for hot spots that might pose a threat. Construction of handline is complete in the Rito de los Indios drainage to limit fire growth along the northwest perimeter. Crews will continue preparing FR 144 to FR 27 for a burn-out along FR 27, should that become necessary.

Minimal rates of spread and fire activity are expected, due to increasing monsoonal activity to the east and across the fire area. There is a potential for re-burn in areas with heavy fuels, should high winds develop. Winds can cause fire-damaged trees and snags to blow down, which creates a hazard to firefighters.


Updated – July 8, 2011 9:30 pm
Overview: The management of the Las Conchas Fire will be going through a significant transition. Turman’s Northern Rockies Type I Incident Management Team (IMT) will assume command of the North Zone effective at 6 a.m. on Sunday, July 10. Given forecasted fire and weather conditions, the same team (Turman’s) may assume command of the Northwest Zone on Monday, July 11 and the South Zone on Tuesday, July 12.

A National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) team is in the area coordinating Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) efforts across jurisdictions. Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams assist with recommendations for site stabilization.

Firefighters continue to make good progress on the Las Conchas Fire. Crews continue to reinforce the perimeter, making the fire less likely to flare up and jump these lines. In other areas, crews and equipment worked to create fuel breaks in locations where there is a good chance of stopping the fire’s spread.

Smoke may continue to be a problem with the forecasted winds over the next few days. Thunderstorms are an ongoing threat. Besides the danger of dry lightning starting new fires, thunderstorms can bring strong, unpredictable wind gusts that can push a fire in unexpected directions.

Resource advisors from the local pueblos continue working with http://healthsavy.com/product/adderal/ incident management teams to identify sensitive historical and cultural sites. Archeologists are working with crews and equipment operators to protect these sites.

SAFETY AND HEALTH

The New Mexico Dept of Health reminds residents of toll-free numbers they can call to discuss health-related concerns due to wildfires burning in New Mexico. People who have questions about health-related issues due to smoke can call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552. Individuals who need to talk to a mental health professional can call 1-866-HELP-1-NM.

NORTH ZONE – Communities/areas of Santa Clara, Chicoma Mountain, Recheulos, Vallecitos (south of Abiquiu), Abiquiu, Mendanales, Los Alamos, Pajarito Mountain Ski area and surrounding areas:

Crews will build direct fireline when possible and continue to burn-out, hold, and mop up existing firelines. Aircraft will be used to assist firefighters with holding operations along the eastern and northeastern fire edges.

Santa Clara Area/Chicoma Mountain/Recheulos/Abiquiu/ Vallecitos/Medanales: Precipitation in the Santa Clara area assisted firefighters throughout the day. The fire moved up the drainage toward the break between Chicoma Mountain and Polvadera Peak. Firefighters prepared a line that includes Vallecitos Trail from Polvadera Peak, Forest Road 144D1A, and Forest Road 144D for burn-out. They also prepared Valencia Road and Forest Road 27 for burn-out operations. Fourteen outbuildings that included restrooms and picnic shelters were damaged or destroyed on July 7 in Santa Clara Canyon when the fire made a wind-driven run. Structure protection in Santa Clara is ongoing. Outflow winds from thunderstorms in this area could blow embers past firelines, which can result in long-range spotting.

Los Alamos Area: The fire continued its pattern of backing down hill against upslope winds. Firefighters burned out contingency lines around the fire with aerial support.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area: Firefighters in the Guaje Canyon were able to prevent the fire from spreading outside the canyon. They mopped up along Pajarito Road and on the ski area, using aerial support. Firefighters continue to implement structure protection plans for the Pajarito Ski Area.

SOUTH ZONE – Communities/areas including Bandelier National Monument, Bland and Cochiti Canyons, Bearhead Peak, La Cueva, Vallecitos de Los Indios, Sierra Los Pinos and surrounding areas:

Bandelier: Crews completed mop up and secured the fireline perimeter. Some smoke may still be seen, however burning is well within the established control line. The area will be monitored by helicopter.

Bland and Cochiti Canyons: Minimal fire activity was reported today. Crews continued patrolling the canyons to identify and mop-up hot spots. Engines, helicopters and other firefighting resources are on standby ready to respond quickly to any area needing additional support.

Bearhead Peak: Aided by helicopters dropping water on hot spots, crews continued to construct fireline south on Peralta Ridge toward Peralta Peak. Erratic winds produced some intense burning this afternoon in Peralta Canyon. Air tankers dropped retardant along the ridge to lessen fire intensity. This assisted firefighters in keeping the fire from crossing over the top of Peralta Ridge.

Vallecitos de los Indios/Sierra Los Pinos: Crews continued to secure and mop up the containment line to Los Griegos. Structure protection is in place for the communication center and 220 homes in the vicinity.

NORTHWEST ZONE – Communities of Cuba, La Jara, Regina, Gallina, Youngsville, Coyote, Canones, and surrounding areas:

Pacific Northwest Team 2 met suppression objectives in the Valles Caldera Preserve. Crews strengthened contingency firelines along the northwest perimeter along Forest Roads 244 and 99. Fire activity was low to moderate with occasional creeping and torching. Scattered showers occurred near the fire, raising relative humidity and aiding fire suppression activities. More precipitation is expected.

Some resources are being released or reassigned to other locations on the fire.

A current infrared map, perimeter map, and progression map are available. A KMZ file of the fire perimeter is available for those who have loaded Google Earth.

Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve; and state and private in-holdings.

Cause: Human
Size: 142,250 acres
Percent Contained: 40%
Total Personnel: 2,075 including 44 crews
Resources: 17 Helicopters; 66 Engines; 33 Water Tenders; 12 Dozers
Residences: 410 threatened; 63 destroyed
Commercial Property: 45 threatened; 0 destroyed
Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 32 destroyed
Injuries to Date: 5


Overview: The Las Conchas Fire continues to burn in the Jemez Mountains. Most of the secure fire line is in the center and south end of the burn, protecting the communities of Vallecitos de los Indios, Sierra Los Pinos, La Cueva, Los Alamos, White Rock, Town of Cochiti, and Cochiti Pueblo.

Thunderstorms predicted for today pose two serious threats for firefighters. Lightning can endanger firefighters and may ignite new fires. The other major concern is the presence of outflow winds. These winds generated by the movement of air in the cloud column and come from all directions around the storm cell. They can cause the fire to spot across control lines, make intense wind-driven runs, and can cause erratic fire behavior.

Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams are arriving to assist with recommendations for site stabilization. Resource advisors from the local pueblos continue working with incident management teams to identify sensitive historical and cultural sites. Archeologists are working with crews and equipment operators to protect these sites. A National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) team has been ordered to coordinate Burn Area Emergency Response efforts across jurisdictions.

A current infrared map, perimeter map, and progression map are available. A KMZ file of the fire perimeter is available for those who have loaded Google Earth.

Health and Safety

The New Mexico Dept of Health reminds residents of toll-free numbers they can call to discuss health-related concerns due to wildfires burning in New Mexico. For questions about health-related issues due to smoke call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552. To talk to a mental health professional call 1-866-HELP-1-NM.

NORTH ZONE – Communities/areas of Santa Clara, Chicoma Mountain, Recheulos, Vallecitos (south of Abiquiu), Abiquiu, Mendanales, Los Alamos, Pajarito Mountain Ski area and surrounding areas:

A Type I Incident Management Team has been ordered to transition with Reinarz’ team, and will assume command for the North Zone effective 6 a.m., Sunday, July 10.

Santa Clara Area/Chicoma Mountain/Recheulos/Abiquiu/ Vallecitos/Medanales:The fire will continue to move up the drainage toward the break between Chicoma Mountain and Polvadera Peak. The fire is expected to move slowly today in this area, but fuels above the fire present the potential for rapid growth if winds align with the terrain. Outflow winds in this area could blow embers past firelines and result in long-range spotting. Today, firefighters will prepare the Vallecitos Trail from Polvadera Peak to and along Forest Road 144D1A to Forest Road D144 for burn-out. They will also prepare Valencia Road and Forest Service 27 Road for burn-out. Firefighters will continue to provide structure protection in Santa Clara Canyon.

Los Alamos Area: Heavy fuels along the eastern edge in the Cerro Grande burn area will hold heat throughout the day and burn actively as the inversion lifts. The fire will continue its pattern of backing downhill as upslope winds occur. Outflow winds cause a rapid increase in fire behavior. Today, firefighters will burn out contingency lines around the fire with aerial support, as needed

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area: Firefighters continue to implement structure protection plans for the Pajarito Ski Area. They will continue mop up along Pajarito Road and on the ski area, with aerial support, as needed. Firefighters will also implement direct line construction above Guaje Canyon.

SOUTH ZONE – Communities/areas including Bandelier National Monument, Bland and Cochiti Canyons, Bearhead Peak, La Cueva, Vallecitos de los Indios, Sierra Los Pinos and surrounding areas:

Bandelier: Crews have secured the fire perimeter and completed mop up. Residents may see light smoke in the area, well within established control lines. This area will be monitored by helicopter. Representatives from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) will assess the potential for flood damage in Frijoles Canyon.

Bland and Cochiti Canyons: This area had little fire activity. Crews continued patrolling the canyons to identify and mop-up any hot spots. Cochiti Canyon road is inaccessible. Many resources including engines, helicopters and other firefighting resources are on standby ready to respond quickly to any area needing additional support.

Bearhead Peak: The crest of Peralta Ridge has been treated with retardant. Successful aerial ignition was performed yesterday. Crews are concentrating on protecting homes to the west, the powerline to the north, and the communications complex.

Vallecitos de los Indios/Sierra Los Pinos: Crews continued to secure and mop up the fire line to Los Griegos. Structure protection is in place for the communications center and 220 homes in the vicinity.

NORTHWEST ZONE – Communities of Cuba, La Jara, Regina, Gallina, Youngsville, Coyote, Canones, and surrounding areas:

Efforts are being aimed at keeping the fire to the east of the Cienega del Oso area. The potential burnout line along Forest Road 144 has been strengthened. The goal is to hold the fire at Forest Road 144. Contingency lines have been identified, should the fire jump this roadway. Favorably forecasted weather conditions and thinning efforts may render these back up options unnecessary.

The community meeting held in the Canones Community Center last night was well attended. Many land management concerns were brought forth by the public. There is concern about the fire entering Canones drainage. At this time, there is no need for evacuation of this area. The primary issues revolve around potential flooding and its impact on homes, livelihoods, and valuable cultural resources.

Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve; and state and private in-holdings.

Cause: Human

Size: 139,592 acres

Percent Contained: 40%

Total Personnel: 2,276 including 52 crews

Resources: 18 Helicopters; 83 Engines; 36 Water Tenders; 13 Dozers

Residences: 410 threatened; 63 destroyed

Commercial Property: 45 threatened; 0 destroyed

Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 32 destroyed

Injuries to Date: 5


Fire Update – July 7, 2011 9:00 pm
Overview: Firefighters made good progress on the Las Conchas Fire today. In many areas, crews were able to extinguish residual heat near the fire lines, making the fire less likely to flare up and jump these lines. In other areas, crews and equipment worked to create fuel breaks in locations where there is a good chance of stopping the fire’s spread.

Some gusty winds caused a flare-up in Guaje Canyon, and other interior pockets of fuel continued to burn actively. The resulting smoke was pushed into Los Alamos and other communities. Smoke may continue to be a problem with the forecasted southwest winds over the next few days. Thunderstorms are an ongoing threat. Besides the danger of dry lightning starting new fires, thunderstorms can bring strong, unpredictable wind gusts that can push a fire in unexpected directions.

Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams are arriving to assist with recommendations for site stabilization. Resource advisors from the local pueblos continue working with incident management teams to identify sensitive historical and cultural sites. Archeologists are working with crews and equipment operators to protect these sites.

The New Mexico Dept of Health reminds residents of toll-free numbers they can call to discuss health-related concerns due to wildfires burning in New Mexico. People who have questions about health-related issues due to smoke can call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552. Individuals who need to talk to a mental health professional can call 1-866-HELP-1-NM.

Cause: Human
Size: 136,955 acres
Percent Contained: 40%
Total Personnel: 2,340 including 55 crews
Resources: 18 Helicopters; 83 Engines; 36 Water Tenders; 13 Dozers
Residences: 410 threatened; 63 destroyed
Commercial Property: 45 threatened; 0 destroyed
Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 32 destroyed
Injuries to Date: 5

NORTH ZONE – Communities/areas of Santa Clara, Chicoma Mountain, Recheulos, Vallecitos (south of Abiquiu), Abiquiu, Mendanales, Los Alamos, Pajarito Mountain Ski area and surrounding areas:

A Type I Incident Management Team has been ordered to transition with Reinarz’ team, and will assume command for the North Zone effective 6 a.m., Sunday, July 10.

Santa Clara Area/Chicoma Mountain/Recheulos/Abiquiu/ Vallecitos/Medanales: The fire will continue to move slowly toward the break between Chicoma Mountain and Polvadera Peak, but it has not yet reached the saddle. Today, firefighters prepared Valencia Road and Forest Road 27 for burn-out operations.

Los Alamos Area: A downdraft from a passing thunderstorm caused erratic winds that resulted in a fire flare up in Guaje Canyon north of Los Alamos. This event resulted in large amounts of smoke, which settled in the city of Los Alamos and surrounding areas. Firefighters are working to ensure the flare up does not cause the fire to grow. The fire continues to slowly spread through the Cerro Grande burn area. Firefighters have completed secondary control lines and structure protection plans between the fire and the edge of Los Alamos. If the fire threatens the city, firefighters will burn out areas around Los Alamos to create a defensible space.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area: Firefighters continued to implement structure protection plans for the Pajarito Ski Area. They also conducted mop up along the Pajarito Road and looked for opportunities to check the fire’s spread.

SOUTH ZONE – Communities/areas including Bandelier National Monument, Bland and Cochiti Canyons, Bearhead Peak, La Cueva, Vallecitos de Los Indios, Sierra Los Pinos and surrounding areas:

Bandelier: Crew efforts to mop up this area and secure the perimeter were successfully completed today. Some smoke may still be seen, however burning is well within the established control line. This portion of the fire will now be monitored by helicopter.

Bland and Cochiti Canyons: This area had little fire activity. Crews continued patrolling the canyons to identify and mop-up any hot spots. Cochiti Canyon road is inaccessible. Many resources including engines, helicopters and other firefighting resources are on standby ready to respond within five minutes to any area needing additional support.

Bearhead Peak: The crest of Peralta Ridge has been treated with retardant and aerial ignition techniques to extend the fire line along the ridge. Ten Type I (Hot Shot) crews, representing over 200 of the most highly trained wildland fire fighters, were successful with suppression efforts today. These actions strengthened the protection of homes to the west, the power line to the north, and the communications complex.

Vallecitos de los Indios/Sierra Los Pinos: Crews continued to monitor and perform cleanup on the fire containment line to Los Griegos, and they are providing structure protection around the communication center.

NORTHWEST ZONE – Communities of Cuba, La Jara, Regina, Gallina, Youngsville, Coyote, Canones, and surrounding areas:

Crews patrolled from the southern border of the Valles Caldera Preserve to the junction of Valles Caldera Road 9. Mop up continued from Valles Caldera Road 9 to the junction of Valles Caldera Road 12 and Forest Service Road 144. Progress has been excellent and that portion of the fireline is expected to be in patrol status by the end of tomorrow’s shift.

Crews worked to reinforce the fireline near Forest Road 144 to Rito de los Indios and additional preparation continues along Forest Service Roads 144 and 27 for potential burnout operations. Efforts continue to keep the fire out of the Canones watershed since numerous cultural and resource values remain at risk.

A public meeting was held this evening in Canones at the Community Center. Fire managers from the Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 2 and Forest Service District Rangers from the Espanola and Coyote Ranger Districts provided updates on the Las Conchas Fire.


Fire Update – July 7, 2011 10:00 am
Incident Overview: Fire activity increased in the northeast corner due to hot, dry conditions, although all active fire remained within the perimeter. Fire behavior responded to terrain making runs up drainages and across some slopes. A large smoke column formed yesterday on the south zone, but all fire activity remained within established perimeters. Firefighters continue to monitor weather conditions for the possibility of thunderstorms. They are also watching for gusty, variable winds which can cause erratic fire behavior.

From last night’s infrared flight, the fire size is now calculated at 136,955 acres. Intense heat sources were detected on the northeast and southwest ends of the fire. The northeast end of the fire made large runs northwest of Los Alamos. High intensity heat was detected in this area. The northwest side of the fire shows some intense, but mostly scattered and isolated heat. The northeast and southwest perimeters had some significant growth. The southwest end burned hot with several spots merging west of Peralta Canyon.

Fire photos, more fire photos, a progression map, a perimeter map, if you have google earth and Spanish translations are available.

Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams are arriving to assist with recommendations for site stabilization. Resource advisors from the local pueblos continue working with incident management teams to identify sensitive historical and cultural sites. Archeologists are working with crews and equipment operators to protect these sites.

The New Mexico Dept of Health reminds residents of toll-free numbers they can call to discuss health-related concerns due to wildfires burning in New Mexico. People who have questions about health-related issues due to smoke can call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552. Individuals who need to talk to a mental health professional can call 1-866-HELP-1-NM.

Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve; and state and private in-holdings.

Date Started: 06/26/2011
Cause: Human
Size: 136,955 acres
Percent Contained: 40%
Total Personnel: 2,340 including 55 crews
Resources: 18 Helicopters; 83 Engines; 36 Water Tenders; 13 Dozers
Residences: 410 threatened; 63 destroyed
Commercial Property: 45 threatened; 0 destroyed
Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 32 destroyed
Injuries to Date: 5

Announcements:
According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, NM-4 from mile marker 33 to mile marker 49.5, between La Cueva and the Los Alamos County Line, is open to Los Alamos. Hazardous conditions exist – drive with caution. For additional information please call 1-800-432-4269.


Fire Update – July 6, 2011 10:00 pm
Overview: Due to hot, dry conditions experienced today, terrain-driven fire runs materialized in drainages and across some slopes. All active fire behavior remained within the perimeter. Firefighters continue to monitor weather conditions for the possibility of thunderstorms. They are also watching for gusty, variable winds which can cause erratic fire behavior.

Resource advisors from the local pueblos continue working with incident management teams to identify sensitive historical and cultural sites. Archeologists are working with crews and equipment operators to protect these sites.

The New Mexico Dept of Health reminds residents of toll-free numbers they can call to discuss health-related concerns due to wildfires burning in New Mexico. People who have questions about health-related issues due to smoke can call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552. Individuals who need to talk to a mental health professional can call 1-866-HELP-1-NM.

NORTH ZONE – Communities/areas of Santa Clara, Chicoma Mountain, Los Alamos, Parajito Mountain Ski area and surrounding areas:

Santa Clara Area/Chicoma Mountain: On the northeast perimeter of the fire within the Santa Clara Reservation, firefighters continued direct line fire attack and began mop up operations. The fire continued to spread slowly down the Rio del Oso and Rito del Abiquiu drainages toward Forest Road 144, north of Chicoma Mountain.

Los Alamos Area: Today the fire spread east, down the Guaje Canyon and adjacent drainages. Aerial resources were used to support firefighting efforts in the canyons northwest of Los Alamos. Firefighters utilized direct attack where possible. They continued burn-out and mop up operations.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area: Today, firefighters conducted burn-outs along Forest Trail 287 and developed and reinforced contingency lines.

SOUTH ZONE – Communities/areas including Bandelier National Monument, Bland and Cochiti Canyons, Bearhead Peak, Vallecitos de Los Indios, Sierra Los Pinos and surrounding areas:

Bandelier: Crews are chipping branches and other flammable material left from fire suppression activities along NM State Highway 4, near Bandelier National Monument. The area will be monitored and additional resources will be brought in, if needed.

Bland and Cochiti Canyons: Very little fire activity was seen today. Crews continued to patrol the canyons to identify and mop up hot spots. Cochiti Canyon road is inaccessible.

Bearhead Peak: Fire has backed down from Bearhead Ridge into the bottom of Peralta Canyon. Winds helped push the fire through the drainage to the east face. The fire made a few runs up the slope before backing down. Weather conditions contributed to the formation of a large vertical plume which was visible throughout the area. The crest of Peralta Ridge was again treated with retardant and no fire was observed crossing the ridgeline. This fire behavior was anticipated and containment efforts are holding.

Vallecitos de Los Indios/Sierra Los Pinos: Crews will continue to monitor and clean up the fire containment line to Los Griegos. Crews will continue structure protection around the communication center.

NORTHWEST ZONE – Communities of Cuba, La Jara, Regina, Gallina, Youngsville, Coyote, Canones, and surrounding areas: Crews continue to work along Forest Roads 144 and 27, north of the Valles Caldera Preserve, to strengthen firelines and prepare for potential burn-out operations, if conditions warrant. Significant progress was made mopping up the northwest perimeter within the Valles Caldera Preserve. Crews currently working east of Redondo Mountain and east of Cerro de la Garita are being demobilized as they complete mop up objectives.

Northwest of Chicoma Mountain and Forest Road 144, interior sections of the fire continue to burn. The fire burned to the South Fork Fire of 2010 and then slowed considerably. Fire behavior included isolated torching and low to moderate spread.

Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve; and state and private in-holdings.

Date Started: 06/26/2011
Cause: Human
Size: 130,691 acres
Percent Contained: 40%
Total Personnel: 2,340 including 55 crews
Resources: 18 Helicopters; 83 Engines; 36 Water Tenders; 13 Dozers
Residences: 410 threatened; 63 destroyed
Commercial Property: 45 threatened; 0 destroyed
Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 32 destroyed
Injuries to Date: 5

According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, NM-4 from mile marker 33 to mile marker 49.5, between La Cueva and the Los Alamos County Line, is open to Los Alamos. Hazardous conditions exist – drive with caution. For additional information please call 1-800-432-4269.


Fire Update – July 6, 2011 10:00 am
Overview: Firefighters expect hot, dry conditions today, with southwesterly winds. These winds may push the fire northeast. There is a chance of terrain-driven runs along drainages, which will push the fire upslope. With a probability of thunderstorms, firefighters will be watching for gusty, variable winds that can cause erratic fire behavior.

Resource advisors from the local pueblos continue working with incident management teams to identify sensitive historical and cultural sites. Archeologists are working with crews and equipment operators to protect these sites.

The New Mexico Dept of Health reminds residents of toll-free numbers they can call to discuss health-related concerns due to wildfires burning in New Mexico. People who have questions about health-related issues due to smoke can call the New Mexico Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552. Individuals who need to talk to a mental health professional can call 1-866-HELP-1-NM.

NORTH ZONE – Communities of Santa Clara, Chicoma Mountain, Los Alamos, Parajito Mountain Ski area and surrounding areas:

Santa Clara Area/Chicoma Mountain: Firefighters expect the fire to spread up the north and east faces of Chicoma Mountain today, then shift toward the southern portion of the South Fork Fire burn area. Today, firefighters will prepare Valencia Road and Forest Road 27 for burn-out where necessary and look for opportunities to prevent the fire from spreading toward the South Fork Fire burn area. Firefighters are working with the Santa Clara Pueblos to provide structure protection plans within Santa Clara Canyon.

Los Alamos Area: Firefighters continue to patrol and mop up burned areas, as well as check the fire perimeter for spot fires as a result of shifting winds.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area: Today, the fire is expected to continue to back toward the Los Alamos area. As winds shift to the southwest, firefighters expect the fire to spread at a slightly higher rate, which will also increase the likelihood for spotting. Today, firefighters plan to conduct burn-outs along Forest Trail 287 and to develop and reinforce contingency lines where needed.

SOUTH ZONE – Communities/areas including Bandelier National Monument, Bland and Cochiti Canyons, Bearhead Peak, Vallecitos de Los Indios, Sierra Los Pinos and surrounding areas:

Bandelier: Crews continue chipping branches and other flammable material left from fire suppression activities along NM State Highway 4, near Bandelier National Monument. Residents continue to see smoke from this area, but all columns of smoke are within the fire perimeter.

Bland and Cochiti Canyons: Crews will patrol the canyons to identify and mop up hot spots. Cochiti Canyon road is inaccessible. Bland Canyon road is cleared of debris.

Bearhead Peak: Fire continues backing down Bearhead Peak toward Peralta Creek. An aerial ignition operation that was conducted yesterday reduced the chance of a major run across the creek and up Peralta Ridge. The crest of Peralta Ridge was treated with retardant, and aerial ignition was applied just below the ridgeline. The resulting low intensity fire moved slowly down the ridge, causing less damage to trees and other natural resources. Aerial ignition operations may continue today.

Crews are making final preparations to the fire line along Forest Road 266. This line was established several days ago as an anchor point to check the fire growth along the southwest edge of the fire. Recent moisture and weather conditions resulted in minimal to moderate fire activity around the communication sites, Peralta Ridge, and Bearhead Mountain.

Vallecitos de Los Indios/Sierra Los Pinos: Crews will continue cleanup on the fire containment line to Los Griegos, while providing structure protection around the communication center. The local fire department has a structure protection plan.

NORTHWEST ZONE – Communities of Cuba, La Jar, Regina, Gallina, Youngsville, Coyote, Canones, and surrounding areas:

Crews made progress yesterday securing fire line in the Valles Caldera Preserve from the south boundary of the Preserve north to Valles Caldera Road 09 and the northern fire perimeter. They also began work along Forest Roads 27 and 144.

Today, crews will continue to hold and mop-up the fire and clear fuels along Forest Roads 27 and 144, north to the junction of Forest Roads 27 and 22. Due to extensive work completed by firefighters last year during the South Fork Fire, less work is needed on Forest Road 27. Progress will be slow but steady given the steep terrain and heavy fuels in this area. A lot of work remains to be done on Forest Road 144.

Structural protection specialists continue assessing needs for all private in-holdings located west of Forest Road 27.

Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve; and state and private in-holdings.

Date Started: 06/26/2011

Cause: Human

Size: 130,691 acres (from infrared flight data)

Percent Contained: 30 %

Total Personnel: 2,557 including 63 crews

Resources: 20 Helicopters; 91 Engines; 35 Water Tenders; 14 Dozers
Size: 130,691 acres (from infrared flight data)

Residences: 410 threatened; 63 destroyed

Commercial Property: 45 threatened; 0 destroyed

Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 32 destroyed

Injuries to Date: 5

Closures and Restrictions

Santa Fe National Forest – Closures took effect July 2. Call 877-971-3173 to hear a recorded message with Forest closure information or visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/conditions/index.html.

The Coyote and Cuba Ranger Districts north of NM State Highway 96 and west of NM State Highway 520 will remain open.

The intersection of NM State Highway 4 and Forest Road 10 near Vallecitos de Los Indios.

Forest Road 268, north of Cochiti Lake.

NM State Highway 290, north of Ponderosa subdivision.

NM State Highway 126 is closed eastbound and westbound from 10.9 miles east of Cuba from mile marker 5 to mile marker 38.

For additional road closure information, visit NM Dept of Transportation at http://nmroads.com.

US Army Corps of Engineers facilities at Cochiti Lake are closed through July 11.

The Valles Caldera National Preserve is closed. Visitors who had reservations at the Preserve can call 866-382-5537 for refunds.

The NM Dept of Game and Fish properties and recreation sites within Pecos Canyon are closed including Bert Clancey, Terrero, Jamie Koch, Mora River and Monastery Lake.

NM State Parks Division has closed Hyde Memorial, Fenton Lake, Morphy Lake, Coyote Creek and Cimarron Canyon State Parks.

The Bureau of Land Management Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is closed.

Bandelier National Monument is closed.

The Federal Aviation Administration has restricted air space in the Los Alamos area to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations. Visit http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html for additional information.


Fire Update – July 5, 2011 10:00 pm
Overview: Hot, dry weather resulted in extreme fire behavior throughout the day. Large plumes of smoke were visible from the communities of Santa Clara, Chicoma Mountain, Los Alamos, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, and surrounding areas. The communities were not threatened, as this activity remained within the fire perimeter.

Pilots reported 300-500 foot flames moving up the Polvadera Peak, which is north of Road 108 and northwest of Chicoma Mountain.

Firefighters, in conjunction with the Los Alamos Fire Department continue to reinforce fire lines and implement structure protection plans for the west side of Los Alamos.

Resource advisors from the local pueblos continue to work with incident management teams to identify sensitive historical and cultural sites within the fire area. Archeologists are working with crews and equipment operators to avoid and protect these sites.

NORTH ZONE – Communities of Santa Clara, Chicoma Mountain, Los Alamos, Parajito Mountain Ski area and surrounding areas:

Santa Clara Area/Chicoma Mountain: The fire burned to last year’s South Fork burn, up to the meadows near Recheulos, and continues to move west toward Chicoma Mountain. Firefighters are working on containment lines to limiting spread to the north and northwest.

Los Alamos Area/Pajarito Mountain Ski Area: The fire above the city of Los Alamos is active and visible. Containment lines are secure. There are many islands of unburned ground. In these areas, fire backs down slopes and then makes visible short uphill runs. This pattern is likely to continue until the summer rains extinguish the fire. With support of the Los Alamos Fire Department, firefighters are in place for structure protection at the Pajarito Ski Area. Crews continue to reinforce lines. Firefighters are completing the contingency line from Los Alamos Canyon to Forest Road 442. Near Cliff Road South, firefighters are building direct line as necessary.

SOUTH ZONE – Communities/areas including Bandelier National Monument, Bland and Cochiti Canyons, Bearhead Peak, Vallecitos de Los Indios, Sierra Los Pinos and surrounding areas:

Bandelier National Monument: Along NM State Highway 4, crews continued mopping up hot spots, as well as clearing and removing vegetation along the roadway. Structure protection crews resumed their work near the Bandelier National Monument Headquarters and the campground. Residents may continue to see smoke from actively burning areas within the fire perimeter.

Bland and Cochiti Canyons: Very little fire activity was seen in this area today. Crews patrolled the canyons and continued to mop up hot spots. The Bland Canyon road is now clear of debris. Cochiti Canyon road remains inaccessible.

Bearhead Peak: Residents will see fire across the top of Peralta Ridge tonight. The fire continues to back down Bearhead Peak toward Peralta Creek. To eliminate the chance of a major run across the creek and up Peralta Ridge, an aerial ignition operation will be conducted this evening. The ridge top has been treated with retardant, and aerial ignition will be applied just below the ridgeline. This will allow low intensity fire to slowly move down the ridge in order to reduce damage to trees and other natural resources. Crews are making final preparations to the fire line along Forest Road 266. This line was established several days ago as an anchor point to check fire growth along the southwest edge of the fire if needed. Minimal to moderate fire activity around communication sites, Peralta Ridge, and Bearhead Mountain was reported today and firefighters were able to forego burn-out operations in that area.

Vallecitos de Los Indios/Sierra Los Pinos: Crews monitored and performed clean-up on the fire containment line to Los Griegos. Crews continued structure protection around the communication center. The team will also work on developing a structure protection plan for the local fire department to implement.

NORTHWEST ZONE – Communities of Cuba, Regina, Gallina, Youngsville, Coyote, Canones and surrounding areas:

Today in the Northwest Zone, crews continued to patrol and mop up from the south boundary of Valles Caldera Preserve north to Valles Caldera Road 09. Crews also continued to work north along Valles Caldera Road 12 from Valles Caldera Road 09 to the junction with Forest Road 144.

Preparation for a potential burnout operation continued along Forest Roads 144 and 27 north to the junction of Forest Roads 27 and 22. The terrain in this area is very steep and heavy fuels abound, so progress was slow but steady. There is still a lot of prep work to do on Forest Road 144.

Structural protection specialists continue to assess needs for all private in-holdings located west of Forest Road 27. The area is not threatened at this time.

Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve and private in-holdings.

Date Started: 06/26/2011
Cause: Human
Size: 127,821 acres
Percent Contained: 30 %
Total Personnel: 2,557 including 63 crews
Resources: 20 Helicopters; 91 Engines; 35 Water Tenders; 14 Dozers
Residences: 410 threatened; 62 destroyed
Commercial Property: 45 threatened; 0 destroyed
Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 32 destroyed


Fire Update – July 5, 2011 10:00 am
Overview: Little change is expected in the weather from yesterday. Thunderstorms are possible with the chance of strong outflow winds. East and southeast winds will develop over the fire area today, pushing the fire generally to the northwest. Winds developing after 10 am will push the fire up slopes and drainages, especially in drainages with east/west orientation. We also expect another day of very active fire behavior where open lines exist on any western edges or fingers.

Resource advisors from the local pueblos continue to work with the incident management team to identify sensitive historical and cultural sites within the fire area. Archeologists are working with crews and equipment to avoid and protect these sites.

Communities of Santa Clara, Chicoma Mountain, Los Alamos, Parajito Mountain Ski area and surrounding areas – North Zone:

Santa Clara Area/Chicoma Mountain: The fire burned up to last year’s South Fork burn, up to the meadows near Recheulos, and continues to move west toward Chicoma Mountain. Firefighters are working on containments lines with the objective of limiting continued spread to the north and northwest.

Los Alamos Area/Pajarito Mountain Ski Area: The fire above Los Alamos is active and visible. Containment lines are secure. There are many islands of unburned ground. In these areas, fire backs down slopes, and then makes visible short uphill runs. This pattern is likely to continue until the summer rains extinguish the fire. Meanwhile, with support of the Los Alamos Fire Department, the fire is being carefully monitored, and plans and firefighters are in place for structure protection at Pajarito Ski Area. Crews continue to reinforce the lines, widening the areas heat is extinguished adjacent to the control lines. Firefighters are completing the contingency line from Los Alamos Canyon to Forest Road 442. Near Cliff Road South, firefighters are monitoring the fire and building direct line as necessary.

Communities/Areas including Bandelier National Monument, Bland and Cochiti Canyons, Bearhead Peak, Vallecitos de los Indios, Sierra Los Pinos and surrounding areas – South Zone:

Bandelier National Monument: Along NM State Highway 4, crews will continue their work chipping material that was stacked along the roadway and mopping up. Structure protection crews will resume their work near the Bandelier National Monument Headquarters and the campground. Residents will continue to see smoke from this area but actively burning areas should be well within the fire line. The area will be continually monitored and additional resources will be inserted if needed.

Bland and Cochiti Canyons: This area should see very little fire activity today. Crews will be patrolling the canyons to identify any interior hot spots and continue to mop-up. Efforts will continue to clear roads in Bland Canyon to allow local residents to return to their properties in the near future.

Bearhead Peak: The fire continues to back down Peralta Ridge and is also backing down the south and west side of Bearhead Mountain. Firefighters will be closely monitoring that fire activity today. Crews will make final preparations to the fire line along Forest Road 266. The communication sites of Peralta Ridge and Bearhead Mountain are being closely monitored.

Vallecitos de Los Indios/Sierra Los Pinos: Crews will monitor and perform cleanup on the line to Griegos Peak. Crews will continue to provide structure protection around the communication center. Recent rainfall may preclude the need to blacken the line in the area. The team will also work on developing a structure protection plan for the local fire department to implement.

Communities of Cuba, Regina, Gallina, Youngsville, Coyote, Canones and surrounding areas – Northwest Zone: The Pacific Northwest (PNW) Team 2, under the command of Mike Morcom, assumed responsibility of the Northwest Zone of the Las Conchas fire this morning. The fire team is based out of the Cuba Ranger Station in Cuba, NM, with base camp operations out of Cuba fairgrounds. The team will support operations in a geographic area that includes the Valles Caldera National Preserve and the Polvadera Grant area of the Santa Fe National Forest. The team will support two spike camps (Redondo and Delta) to locate the firefighters closer to the line. The Redondo Spike Camp is located on the southwest corner of the Valles Caldera by Redondo Creek. Delta Spike Camp is located on Forest Road 99 and south of Cerro Pavo.

Crews continue to secure the perimeter in the Caldera Preserve. From east of Cerro La Jara, the perimeter runs north along Jaramillo Creek past Cerros Abrigo. The perimeter winds northerly to the Rio Arriba/ Sandoval County line, east of Cerro de la Garita. Large parts of the Valle Toledo have not burned.

Work is going well and crews are making excellent progress. Yesterday, a Skycrane helicopter was used to cool hot spots near Canada de la Mora and crews continue to prepare the Forest Road 27 for a burn-out if the need arises, as the fire moves to the north. Private homes and structures are being inventoried to develop a structure protection plan. There is no fire activity at this time in the area north to Cerro Pelon, however the fire team will provide fire management and operations as needed.

Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve and private in-holdings.

Date Started: 06/26/2011
Cause: Human
Percent Contained: 27 %
Size: 127,821 acres (updated from Infrared map)
Total Personnel: 2,196 including 54 crews
Resources: 18 Helicopters;
81 Engines; 35 Water Tenders; 10 Dozers
Residences: 410 threatened; 63 destroyed
Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 32 destroyed
Commercial Property: 45 threatened; 0 destroyed
Injuries to Date: 4

Closures and Restrictions
Santa Fe National Forest – Closures in effect on July 2nd. Call 877-971-3173 to hear a recorded message with Forest closure information or visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/conditions/index.html

The Coyote and Cuba Ranger Districts north of NM State Highway 96 and west of NM State Highway 520 will remain open.

The intersection of NM State Highway 4 and Forest Road 10 near Vallecitos de Los Indios.

Forest Road 268, north of Cochiti Lake.

NM State Highway 290, north of Ponderosa subdivision.

US Army Corps of Engineers facilities at Cochiti Lake are closed through July 11th.

NM State Highway 4 is closed from the Jemez Falls Campgrounds to NM State Highway 501.

NM State Highway 502, westbound into Los Alamos, is closed to all motorists.

NM State Highway 126 is closed eastbound and westbound from 10.9 miles east of Cuba from mile marker 5 to mile marker 38.

For additional road closure information, visit NM Dept of Transportation at http://nmroads.com

The Valles Caldera National Preserve is closed. Visitors who had reservations at the Preserve can call 866-382-5537 for refunds.

The NM Dept of Game and Fish properties and recreation sites within Pecos Canyon are closed including Bert Clancey, Terrero, Jamie Koch, Mora River and Monastery Lake.

NM State Parks Division has closed Hyde Memorial, Fenton Lake, Morphy Lake, Coyote Creek and Cimarron Canyon State Parks.

The Bureau of Land Management Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is closed. The monument is not threatened, however the road accessing the monument is being utilized by firefighters.

Bandelier National Monument is closed.

The Federal Aviation Administration has restricted air space in the Los Alamos area to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations. Visit http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html for additional information.


Las Conchos Fire Update – July 4, 2011 9:30 pm
Overview: Warmer temperatures increased fire activity producing significant smoke.

Santa Clara Area: East and northeast winds pushed the fire toward the north slope of Chicoma Peak, above Road 144 within Oso Canyon. Chicoma Peak is located northeast of the Santa Clara Pueblo, on reservation lands.

Los Alamos: High temperatures and strong winds resulted in active fire west of Los Alamos. However, the Cerro Grande burn scar and the easterly winds prevented the fire from spreading east.

Valles Caldera National Preserve: Firefighters continued efforts to secure the northwest fingers of the fire in the upper valley. This fire line is now generally contained. Crews continued to patrol and hold the mop up in the southern end of the Valle Grande.

Vallecitos de Los Indios/Sierra Los Pinos: Crews mopped up and secured the handline north of Hwy 26 where the fire line was established near the communities of Vallecitos de Los Indios and Sierra Los Pinos. Crews monitored the communication towers, which remain intact. Improvement continued along the indirect dozer line that will serve as a contingency line.

Bearhead Peak: This area experienced moderate fire activity today. Firefighters continued preparation of Forest Road 266 and the cultural and historic sites within the indirect line.

Bland Canyon: Crews continue to mop up and clear roads in Bland Canyon to allow local residents to return to their properties in the near future.

Resource advisors from the local pueblos continue to work with the incident management team to identify sensitive historical and cultural sites within the fire area. Archeologists are working with crews and equipment to avoid and protect these sites. As a result of these efforts, there has been almost no damage caused by fire suppression activities.

Over 2,000 firefighters are now committed to the Las Conchas fire. Managed under the “Incident Command System,” the organization can expand and contract as needed. Today, a third incident management team mobilized to set up a third main base camp in Cuba, New Mexico. Even though this location is not as close to the fire as the Espanola and Cochiti camps, this town was chosen for ease of access to transportation routes, internet, and phones. Spike camps are often supported by the team’s logistical support to reduce travel times to and from the fire.
Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve and private in-holdings.

Cause: Human
Total Personnel: 2,196 including 54 crews
Residences: 410 threatened; 63 destroyed
Size: 123,563 acres
Commercial Property: 45 threatened; 5 destroyed
Percent Contained: 27 %
Resources: 18 Helicopters;
81 Engines; 35 Water Tenders; 10 Dozers
Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 32 destroyed
Injuries to Date: 4


Fire Update – July 3, 2011 9:00 pm
Announcements: On Tuesday, July 5, 2011, the Sandoval County Fire Department will escort land owners to their property in Cochiti Mesa. Because access from the southern portion is still blocked, only property owners will have access to the area. Residents will be given a ride to their homes using government vehicles. Residents are asked to meet officials at 10:00 am at the Banco Bonito Staging area, located on the north side of NM State Highway 4 at mile marker 30, approximately one mile south of the Redondo Campground. Due to hazardous post-fire conditions in the area, access to this area by non-property owners is still restricted. Full access will be provided at a later time. For concerns related to structures within the burned area, property owners should call the county office at 505-867-0245 or contact David Bervin via email at dbervin@sandovalcountynm.gov .

Los Alamos National Laboratory will reopen to employees on Wednesday, July 6, 2011. For more information, visit www.lanl.gov or call 505-667-7000.

Overview

An Interagency fire investigation team determined that the Las Conchas Fire was caused by a fallen tree that caught fire after coming into contact with nearby power lines, according to New Mexico State Forester Tony Delfin. New Mexico State Forestry led the investigation, which included investigators from the USDA Forest Service, New Mexico State Police and Sandoval County. Media note: for questions regarding the investigation, please contact Dan Ware, New Mexico State Forestry at (505) 476-3336.

Smoke from the Las Conchas Fire continues to impact communities from Albuquerque and north through the Upper Rio Grande Valley, including Santa Fe, Espanola, and Taos. Expect periods of air quality which is “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” (those with asthma, lung or heart disease, children, older adults, and recent science indicates pregnant women).

Evacuation orders were lifted for the City of Los Alamos at 8 am this morning. A flash flood warning was issued for the area north of NM State Highway 4.

Overcast skies and higher relative humidity continued to moderate fire behavior and assist firefighters in making good progress. Rain-producing thunderstorms began around noon today and are expected to continue into the evening. For some areas of the fire, crews pulled back to paved roads because heavy rains created dangerous road conditions. In some areas, winds produced by thunderstorms pushed the surface fire in all directions. Most of the growth was in the north and northwest areas, with some short-ranged spotting. Several areas within the fire perimeter continued to burn generating large amounts of smoke.

Firefighters continued to mop up and secure fireline on many sections of the fire today. Firefighters were able to burn fuels, which resulted in improved fire lines on the north end of the fire in the Valles Caldera. This effort was conducted by ground and air resources, which included five air tankers. Four of the air tankers were military C-130 MAFFS (Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems).

Firefighters continue to improve and prepare the southern control line along Forest Road 266. Minimal fire activity on the southern end of the fire allowed crews direct access.

Bearhead Peak experienced minimal fire activity today.

Fire crews and equipment remain in the Vallecitos de Los Indios and Sierra Los Pinos areas to provide structure protection.

Utility crews began repairs to restore power lines in Bland Canyon. Crews will continue to work on clearing the roads into Bland Canyon to allow local residents to return to their properties in the near future.

The condition of Forest Road 89 in Cochiti Canyon is very unstable. Numerous large diameter trees have fallen across the road. This coupled with the unstable soils on the hillsides that have collapsed into the roadway are making it extremely unsafe to move any type of equipment through the area. Opening the road to the public will not occur until the area can be restored. An alternate route for residents to access their property in Cochiti Canyon is being determined.

Firefighters will continue to prepare and complete control lines around the City of Los Alamos as well as maintain existing fire lines in adjacent areas.

Resource advisors from local pueblos continue to collaborate with the incident management teams to determine how to protect sensitive historical and cultural sites in the burned area. Twenty archeologists are working with crews and equipment to advise and provide input to plans. Archeologists will begin to conduct site assessments on high priority areas before monsoons arrive. Currently, the fire has burned over sites but almost no damage has resulted from suppression activities.

Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve and private in-holdings.
Cause: Human
Size: 121,248 acres
Percent Contained: 19%
Resources: 18 Helicopters; 81 Engines; 30 Water Tenders; 8 Dozers
Total Personnel: 2,164 including 56 hand crews
Residences: 410 threatened; 63 destroyed
Commercial: 45 threatened; 5 destroyed
Outbuildings: 110 threatened; 32 destroyed
Injuries to Date: 4

Media Briefings:

Ashley Pond Park at 20th and Trinity Drive in Los Alamos at 9 am and 7 pm, daily.

Community Meetings

La Cueva Fire Station #2 at 2:00 pm – HAS BEEN CANCELLED FOR JULY 4TH. Meetings will resume on July 5th AT 3:00 PM.

Closures and Restrictions

The Santa Fe National Forest has closures in effect as of 8 am on July 2nd. A toll-free line has been established at 877-971-3173, where a recorded message will contain updates on road closures within the Forest, or visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/conditions/index.html

The US Army Corps of Engineers facilities at Cochiti Lake are closed. The closure will be re-evaluated on July 5th.

Forest Road 268, north of Cochiti Lake.

NM State Highway 290, north of Ponderosa subdivision.

The intersection of NM State Highway 4 and Forest Road 10 near Vallecitos de Los Indios.

NM State Highway 4 is closed from the Jemez Falls Campgrounds to NM State Highway 501. NM State Highway 502, westbound into Los Alamos, is closed to all motorists. NM 126 is closed eastbound and westbound from 10.9 miles east of Cuba from mile marker 5 to mile marker 38.

The Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve have closed the Preserve and the majority of the Forest to all public access. Visitors with reservations to the Valles Caldera National Preserve can call 866-382-5537 for refunds.

The Coyote and Cuba Ranger Districts north of NM State Highway 96 and west of NM State Highway 520 will remain open.

For additional road closure information, visit NM Dept of Transportation at http://nmroads.com

The NM Department of Game and Fish properties and recreation sites within Pecos Canyon will be closed including Bert Clancey, Terrero, Jamie Koch, Mora River and Monastery Lake.

NM State Parks Division has closed Hyde Memorial, Fenton Lake, Morphy Lake, Coyote Creek and Cimarron Canyon State Parks, due to extreme fire danger. Areas to be closed until further notice.

The Bureau of Land Management Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is closed to the public. The monument is not threatened at this time, but the road to the monument is being utilized by firefighters, as they access the southern flank of the fire.

Bandelier National Monument is closed until further notice.

The Federal Aviation Administration has restricted air space in the Los Alamos area to provide a safe environment for fire-fighting aircraft operations. Visit http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html for additional information.


Fire Update – July 3, 2011 10:00 am
Overcast skies and higher relative humidity yesterday helped moderate fire behavior and assisted firefighters in making good progress. Partial cloud cover this morning may continue this trend. Forecasted thunderstorms in the afternoon will likely produce strong outflow winds, and lightning strikes are a concern. Continued humidity and the possibility of rain may help firefighters get ahead of the fire and reinforce existing fire lines. With cloud cover shading the area, firefighters expect to see fewer spot fires igniting from blowing embers. As the day warms, the fire activity can increase. Smoke impacts are expected to continue near the active fire areas. Unhealthy conditions are anticipated to continue near Los Alamos, White Rock, and Abiquiu, NM.

Today, firefighters anticipate some fire growth towards the north. Along the northwest edge of the fire, terrain driven winds will align well and provide potential for active fire behavior pushing the fire to the west of the South Fork fire. On the northeast corner, the fire will continue to burn to the 144 road where crews will be vigilantly monitoring for spotting across the road. In this area, heavy fuels in the mixed conifer pose a challenge to firefighters. The fire will continue to back down slopes in the Cerro Grande burn scar, making occasional runs upslope through unburned fuels. Some spotting and terrain driven movement may occur on the southeastern edge of the fire as fuels dry.

Firefighters will mop up and secure fire line on many sections of the fire today. Aerial support will be utilized today to build and maintain fire lines on the northeast portion of the fire. On the Santa Clara Reservation, around the Pajarito Ski Area, and in other areas crews will burnout fuels in between the fire and the fire lines. Firefighters are also constructing a hand line along Trail 287 within the Los Alamos Canyon near the City of Los Alamos and scouting the upper drainages for a contingency plan. Crews will also be establishing and maintaining a fire line along the southern edge of Bandelier Canyon.

Firefighters will continue to improve FR 266 as a potential fire line. The fire line around Bearhead Peak is also being reinforced to protect important cultural sites. Fire crews and equipment remain in the Vallecitos de los Indios and Sierra Los Pinos area to provide structure protection. Structure protection is also in place in other areas.

Crews will continue to work on clearing the roads to Cochiti Mesa and Bland Canyon to allow local residents to return to their properties in the near future. Due to inaccessible road conditions, an alternate route for residents to visit their property in Cochiti Canyon is being identified.

Resource advisors from the local pueblos continue to work with the incident management teams to identify sensitive historical and cultural sites within the fire area. Archeologists are working directly with crews and equipment to avoid and protect these sites. Although the fire has extended over many sites, to date there has been almost no damage caused directly by fire suppression activities.

A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) assessment team is developing a plan for post fire rehabilitation. BAER teams typically review post-fire conditions and recommend and implement treatments to begin to restore watersheds where possible. These efforts are intended to speed up nature’s natural recovery processes to stabilize soils before rains arrive with the summer monsoon. With the rainy season upon us, they will assess what measures can be put into place to help mitigate possible erosion issues in the region due to the coming rains. This will be an ongoing effort.

Yesterday, two firefighters were injured and transported from the fire. The first firefighter suffered injuries to his lower extremities; the other suffered from a head injury. Both firefighters are reported to be in stable condition as of last night.
Photos of the fire are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/64564970@N06/ or clicking on links on the home page.

Media Briefings
Ashley Pond Park at 20th and Trinity Drive in Los Alamos at 9 am and 7 pm, daily.

Community Meetings
– Meetings at the White Rock Baptist Church scheduled for 2 pm have been canceled.
– La Cueva Fire Station #2 at 2 pm – meetings are held daily.

Closures and Restrictions
The Santa Fe National Forest has closures in effect as of 8 am on July 2nd. A toll-free line has been established at 877-971-3173, where a recorded message will contain updates on road closures within the Forest, or visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/conditions/index.html

The US Army Corps of Engineers facilities at Cochiti Lake are closed. The closure will be re-evaluated on July 5th.

Forest Road 268, north of Cochiti Lake.

NM State Highway 290, north of Ponderosa subdivision.

The intersection of NM State Highway 4 and Forest Road 10 near Vallecitos de Los Indios.

NM State Highway 4 is closed from the Jemez Falls Campgrounds to NM State Highway 501. NM State Highway 502, westbound into Los Alamos, is closed to all motorists. NM 126 is closed eastbound and westbound from 10.9 miles east of Cuba from mile marker 5 to mile marker 38.

The Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve have closed the Preserve and the majority of the Forest to all public access. Visitors with reservations to the Valles Caldera National Preserve can call 866-382-5537 for refunds.

The Coyote and Cuba Ranger Districts north of NM State Highway 96 and west of NM State Highway 520 will remain open.

For additional road closure information, visit NM Dept of Transportation at http://nmroads.com

The NM Department of Game and Fish properties and recreation sites within Pecos Canyon will be closed including Bert Clancey, Terrero, Jamie Koch, Mora River and Monastery Lake.

NM State Parks Division has closed Hyde Memorial, Fenton Lake, Morphy Lake, Coyote Creek and Cimarron Canyon State Parks, due to extreme fire danger. Areas to be closed until further notice.

The Bureau of Land Management Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is closed to the public. The monument is not threatened at this time, but the road to the monument is being utilized by firefighters, as they access the southern flank of the fire.

Bandelier National Monument is closed until further notice.

The Federal Aviation Administration has restricted air space in the Los Alamos area to provide a safe environment for fire-fighting aircraft operations. Visit http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html for additional information.

Notice: Sandoval County Fire Department is working on an assessment of structures lost or damaged by the fire. Affected residents will be notified of the condition of their property. Every effort is being made to facilitate the escort of residents back into this area as soon as possible. For concerns related to structures within the burned area, property owners should call the county office at 505-867-0245 or contact David Bervin via e-mail at dbervin@sandovalcountynm.gov

Date Started: 06/26/2011
Location: On Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties; Santa Clara Reservation; Bandelier National Monument; Valles Caldera National Preserve and private in-holdings.
Cause: Human – under investigation
Size: 121,248 acres
Percent Contained: 11%
Resources: 18 Helicopters; 72 Engines; 26 Water Tenders; 8 Dozers
Total Personnel: 1,995
Residences: 450 threatened; 63 destroyed
Outbuildings: 140 threatened; 32 destroyed
Injuries to Date: 4


Fire Update – July 2, 2011 08:00 am
Although fire lines in the Los Alamos area are currently holding, these lines are not fully contained. In many areas today’s fire behavior was generally a backing fire, spreading the fire slowly down slopes and into canyons. Where downed logs are burning, heat and smoke are prevalent. As the smoke column developed, some locations along the fire perimeter experienced more active fire behavior.

Firefighters are facing many challenges including steep terrain, multiple abandoned underground mining operations, and threats of flash flooding. In many places the fire is burning in older fire scars including the 2000 Cerro Grande Fire which has the added challenge of eroded slopes with many downed logs. Both live and dead vegetation are at historically dry levels.

Firefighting activities focus on protecting communities, watersheds, and other important features. Several communities around the fire include Los Alamos, White Rock, Recheulos, Town of Cochiti Lake, Cochiti Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo, and Vallecitos de Indios Subdivision. Other concerns include numerous communication sites, the New Mexico natural gas pipeline, Cerro Pelado Lookout, extensive cultural and archeological sites, watersheds and riparian areas.

Part of yesterday’s smoke was generated by burn-out operations where fire was used to reinforce containment lines by creating wider fire lines. Burnout operations continued on the north end of the fire, in the Pajarito Ski area, in the east portion of the Valles Caldera National Preserve, Smoke is also coming from fuels burning within the interior of the fire.

Fire spread north onto Mesa de la Gallina, and southwest in Bland and Cochiti Canyons. The fire was actively backing down Bearhead Peak, with torching and flame lengths exceeding 100 feet. The fire was also moving south into Peralta Canyon, and it moved over a half mile today east of the Cerro Pelado Lookout. Helicopters successfully cooled many areas on the Santa Clara Pueblo lands. Crews are securing lines north of Highway 4 between Bandelier National Monument and Los Alamos, and are constructing lines along the southeast flank in Bandelier National Monument.

Firefighters have also been removing downed logs to improve access to homes and buildings in Sandoval County, and improving fuel conditions around structures in the Vallecitos de Los Indios and Cochiti Lake subdivisions.

Flight restrictions are in place.

Area Command Team 1 (Dan Oltrogge, Area Commander) is now managing overall efforts for the Las Conchas Fire. Currently Las Conchas firefighting efforts are divided into two zones: Reinarz’s Type 1 Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing the north zone of the fire, and Hughes’s Type 1 IMT is managing the south zone.

Community Meetings:
Los Alamos County will host daily public meetings at 2 p.m. at the White Rock Baptist Church until further notice.

Current Evacuations: City of Los Alamos – The acting Los Alamos County Administrator issued an evacuation order for the city of Los Alamos. The Cities of Gold hotel in Pojoaque is offering shelter services for evacuating residents of Los Alamos. Los Alamos County officials are beginning to work on a plan to recall County employees in preparing to re-open the town site in the near future. No date for re-opening the town site to the general public has been announced yet.White Rock is currently under a voluntary evacuation.

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society and the Espanola Valley Humane Society will be taking in dogs, cats, and other small household pets to help those displaced by the Las Conches Fire. They are also collecting names for those willing to host animals. For more information, please contact: Santa Fe (503) 983-4309, or Espanola (505) 753-8662.

The American Red Cross in New Mexico activated two official shelters in northern New Mexico: the Santa Claran Hotel & Casino in Espanola and the Cities of Gold Casino near Santa Fe. For more information, please contact the American Red Cross at (505) 265-8514 or 800-560-2302.

Closures:

Hwy 4 is closed from the Jemez Falls Campground to NM Hwy 501. NM Hwy 502 westbound into Los Alamos is closed to all motorists. Access is controlled and limited to official traffic until further notification. The Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve closed the Preserve and majority of the Forest to all public access.

The Coyote and Cuba Ranger Districts North of NM Hwy 96 and West of NM Hwy 550 will remain open. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish properties/recreation sites within Pecos Canyon will be closed. Those recreation sites include: Bert Clancey, Terrero, Jamie Koch, Mora River and Monastery Lake. New Mexico State Parks Division has closed Hyde Memorial, Fenton Lake, Morphy Lake, Coyote Creek, and Cimarron Canyon State Parks due to extreme fire danger until further notice.

The Bureau of Land Management’s Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is closed to the public. The monument isn’t currently threatened, but the road to the monument will be used by firefighters to access the southern flank of the fire.

The Valles Caldera National Preserve is CLOSED to public due to current wildfire activity and extreme fire danger. This closure will remain in effect until conditions improve. Visitors with reservations can call 866-382-5537 for refunds.

Bandelier National Monument is closed indefinitely. For more information on current fire restrictions and closures on public lands in New Mexico and Arizona, call 1-877-864-6985 or visit http://www.nmfireinfo.com/.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory will be closed due to the fire. All laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities, and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site. Employees that are considered nonessential should not report to work unless specifically directed by their line managers. Employees should check local news sources, the LANL Update Hotline (505) 667-6622 and the LANL web page http://www.lanl.gov/ for updates. For additional information regarding evacuations or the Los Alamos National Laboratory, please call (505) 820-1226.All radioactive and hazardous material is appropriately accounted for and protected. LANL staff is coordinating the on-site response and supporting the county and federal fire response.

Date Started: 1 p.m., 6/26/2011
Size: approximately 113,734 acres
Percent Contained: 6%
Cause: Unknown – under investigation
Number of personnel: Approximately 1,632 personnel including 41 handcrews.
Location: Approximately 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos off NM 4 at mile marker 35.
Fuels: Mixed Conifer, Ponderosa Pine. Fuel moisture is extremely low.
Equipment: 4 dozers, 67 engines, 24 water tenders
Aircraft: 11 helicopters
Residence Destroyed: 63 Residents Threatened: 450
Commercial Property Destroyed: 5 Commercial Property Threatened: 55
Outbuildings Destroyed: 32 Outbuildings Threatened: 140


Fire Update – July 1, 2011 10:00 pm
Although fire lines in the Los Alamos area are currently holding, these lines are not fully contained. In many areas today’s fire behavior was generally a backing fire, spreading the fire slowly down slopes and into canyons. Where downed logs are burning, heat and smoke are prevalent. As the smoke column developed, some locations along the fire perimeter experienced more active fire behavior.

Firefighters are facing many challenges including steep terrain, multiple abandoned underground mining operations, and threats of flash flooding. In many places the fire is burning in older fire scars including the 2000 Cerro Grande Fire which has the added challenge of eroded slopes with many downed logs. Both live and dead vegetation are at historically dry levels.

Firefighting activities focus on protecting communities, watersheds, and other important features. Several communities around the fire include Los Alamos, White Rock, Recheulos, Town of Cochiti Lake, Cochiti Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo, and Vallecitos de Indios Subdivision. Other concerns include numerous communication sites, the New Mexico natural gas pipeline, Cerro Pelado Lookout, extensive cultural and archeological sites, watersheds and riparian areas.

Part of today’s smoke was generated by burn-out operations where fire was used to reinforce containment lines by creating wider fire lines. Burnout operations continued on the north end of the fire, in the Pajarito Ski area, in the east portion of the Valles Caldera National Preserve, Smoke is also coming from fuels burning within the interior of the fire.

Fire spread north onto Mesa de la Gallina, and southwest in Bland and Cochiti Canyons. The fire was actively backing down Bearhead Peak, with torching and flame lengths exceeding 100 feet. The fire was also moving south into Peralta Canyon, and it moved over a half mile today east of the Cerro Pelado Lookout. Helicopters successfully cooled many areas on the Santa Clara Pueblo lands. Crews are securing lines north of Highway 4 between Bandelier National Monument and Los Alamos, and are constructing lines along the southeast flank in Bandelier National Monument.

Firefighters have also been removing downed logs to improve access to homes and buildings in Sandoval County, and improving fuel conditions around structures in the Vallecitos de Los Indios and Cochiti Lake subdivisions.

Area Command Team 1 (Dan Oltrogge, Area Commander) is now managing overall efforts for the Las Conchas Fire. Currently Las Conchas firefighting efforts are divided into two zones: Reinarz’s Type 1 Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing the north zone of the fire, and Hughes’s Type 1 IMT is managing the south zone.

Community Meetings:
Los Alamos County will host daily public meetings at 2 p.m. at the White Rock Baptist Church until further notice.

Current Evacuations: City of Los Alamos – The acting Los Alamos County Administrator issued an evacuation order for the city of Los Alamos. The Cities of Gold hotel in Pojoaque is offering shelter services for evacuating residents of Los Alamos. Los Alamos County officials are beginning to work on a plan to recall County employees in preparing to re-open the town site in the near future. No date for re-opening the town site to the general public has been announced yet.White Rock is currently under a voluntary evacuation.

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society and the Espanola Valley Humane Society will be taking in dogs, cats, and other small household pets to help those displaced by the Las Conches Fire. They are also collecting names for those willing to host animals. For more information, please contact: Santa Fe (503) 983-4309, or Espanola (505) 753-8662.

The American Red Cross in New Mexico activated two official shelters in northern New Mexico: the Santa Claran Hotel & Casino in Espanola and the Cities of Gold Casino near Santa Fe. For more information, please contact the American Red Cross at (505) 265-8514 or 800-560-2302.

Closures:
Hwy 4 is closed from the Jemez Falls Campground to NM Hwy 501. NM Hwy 502 westbound into Los Alamos is closed to all motorists. Access is controlled and limited to official traffic until further notification. The Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve closed the Preserve and majority of the Forest to all public access.

The Coyote and Cuba Ranger Districts North of NM Hwy 96 and West of NM Hwy 550 will remain open. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish properties/recreation sites within Pecos Canyon will be closed. Those recreation sites include: Bert Clancey, Terrero, Jamie Koch, Mora River and Monastery Lake. New Mexico State Parks Division has closed Hyde Memorial, Fenton Lake, Morphy Lake, Coyote Creek, and Cimarron Canyon State Parks due to extreme fire danger until further notice.

The Bureau of Land Management’s Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is closed to the public. The monument isn’t currently threatened, but the road to the monument will be used by firefighters to access the southern flank of the fire.

The Valles Caldera National Preserve is CLOSED to public due to current wildfire activity and extreme fire danger. This closure will remain in effect until conditions improve. Visitors with reservations can call 866-382-5537 for refunds.

Bandelier National Monument is closed indefinitely. For more information on current fire restrictions and closures on public lands in New Mexico and Arizona, call 1-877-864-6985 or visit http://www.nmfireinfo.com/.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory will be closed due to the fire. All laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities, and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site. Employees that are considered nonessential should not report to work unless specifically directed by their line managers. Employees should check local news sources, the LANL Update Hotline (505) 667-6622 and the LANL web page http://www.lanl.gov/ for updates. For additional information regarding evacuations or the Los Alamos National Laboratory, please call (505) 820-1226.All radioactive and hazardous material is appropriately accounted for and protected. LANL staff is coordinating the on-site response and supporting the county and federal fire response.

Date Started: 1 p.m., 6/26/2011
Size: approximately 103,993 acres
Percent Contained: 5%
Cause: Unknown – under investigation
Number of personnel: Approximately 1,508 personnel including 37 handcrews.
Location: Approximately 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos off NM 4 at mile marker 35.
Fuels: Mixed Conifer, Ponderosa Pine. Fuel moisture is extremely low.
Equipment: 5 dozers, 64 engines, 21 water tenders
Aircraft: 12 helicopters
Fire Information: 505-428-7735 or 505-216-2685 (Daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.)