Valles Caldera to Manage Lightning-Caused Fire

The lightning-caused Hidden Valley Fire was first reported on Tuesday, July 17 around 3:30 pm on Valles Caldera National Preserve. The ¼-acre fire is currently burning within a recent forest thinning area on the north flank of South Mountain. Given favorable conditions, including monsoonal rains, high humidity, and the availability of fire crews, the preserve intends to manage the fire to decrease fuel loads in the thinning unit in order to reduce undesired fire behavior in the future.

“Wildfire is a natural component of our forest and grassland ecosystems, and when conditions permit, we strive to safely manage these naturally-caused fires,” said Valles Caldera Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos. “Unlike during the recent San Antonio Fire on the preserve’s north rim, the monsoon rains have created safe conditions to manage the Hidden Valley Fire,” he added.

Resources on scene include three engines, and four crews have been ordered to assist with on-the-ground objectives. Smoke is expected to be visible during management operations over the weekend and will diminish by early next week.  Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures.

For the duration of the Hidden Valley Fire, the South Mountain and Hidden Valley areas of the preserve will be closed to the public.

Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at and on @vallescaldera and

For more information contact: Brittney Van Der Werff, 505-205-4614,

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