Santa Fe National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Santa Fe, NM 87508
Start Date: July 20
Location: Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF)
Fuel: Ponderosa Pine
Weather: Rain forecasted throughout the week
Resources: 190 personnel. On Sunday at 6:00 a.m. a local Type 3 organization led by Incident Commander Ray Corral assumed command of fire operations from the Type 2 Southwest Incident Management Team. The number of personnel assigned to the fire will continue to decrease due to favorable weather conditions and successful firefighting efforts.
Situation: The fire is in steep terrain with limited access on Mesa Venado and an adjacent drainage area 1.5 miles north of Deer Creek Landing and 6.5 miles west of Jemez Springs. Although no rain occurred across the fire area yesterday, existing moisture helped sustain minimal fire growth, allowing fire crews to limit fire intensity by igniting dead and downed fuels and creating a dozer line ahead of the fire. With strengthening containment lines, crews will conduct more burning operations today that may result in large, intermittent smoke plumes. Crews are also scouting opportunities to take advantage of predicted wetter weather and existing road systems to minimize fire spread to the south and west. The local management team and the Santa Fe National Forest personnel are working closely with Pueblo of Jemez representatives to protect multiple archaeological and cultural sites in proximity to the Venado Fire. Multi-agency fire managers are also monitoring designated critical habitat for the Mexican spotted owl and the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse. Although the fire reached a portion of the owl habitat, suppression efforts kept the fire from impacting the jumping mouse habitat.
Closures: The Venado Fire temporary area closure order is in effect, and it includes Forest Roads 376 and 488 in their entirety. The closure order, including a map of the restricted area, isposted on the SFNF website under Alerts and Notices. The closure order will remain in place until lifted.
Smoke/Air Quality: Because of the location and elevation, smoke from the Venado Fire will be visible from all directions coming into the Jemez Mountains area. Smoke is expected to linger in neighboring communities including San Ysidro, U.S. Route 550 north of Santa Ana Pueblo, Gilman, Jemez Pueblo and areas near NM State Route 4. Smoke may be visible from the I-25 corridor near Santa Fe, Jemez Springs, Santa Fe and Bernalillo.
Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease should be prepared to exercise precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website https://nmtracking.org/fire or by calling 1-888-878-8992. For information on the HEPA filter loan program: https://www.santafefireshed.org/hepa-filter-loan-program/.
Fire updates are posted on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5996/, the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com, and on Twitter @SantaFeNF and www.facebook.com/SantaFeNF.
For more information, please contact the Jemez Ranger District at (575) 829-3535.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.