SFNF – Venado Fire Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Venado Fire UPDATE

Start Date: July 20

Cause: Lightning

Size: approximately 2,200 acres

Location: Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest

Containment: 0%

Fuel: Ponderosa Pine

Weather: Scattered thunderstorms Monday night dropped less than a tenth of an inch on the Venado Fire, with no significant impact on ground conditions. Today’s forecast is for more of the same, with the possibility of scattered showers and thunderstorms accompanied by lightning and gusty winds.

Resources on scene: 162 personnel, including four interagency hotshot crews, along with one type 3 helicopter, three engines, one dozer and a rapid extraction module. A Type 2 incident command team will take command of the Venado Fire today at 4:00 p.m. following in-brief.

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. Fire crews will continue a full suppression strategy aimed at holding the Venado Fire inside a box bounded by Forest Road (FR) 376 on the east, FR 652 on the west, FR 488 on the north and the Peggy Fire burn scar on the south.

Roads in the Venado Fire area will be closed to support fire operations as crews continue to prepare FR 376 for burnout operations and scout areas west and southwest of the fire to identify the best contingency lines. Fire managers are concerned about holding the northern boundary because of its proximity to a previously thinned unit where fuels have been piled.

Public and firefighter safety is the number one priority.  Values at risk include numerous archaeological and cultural heritage sites, Jemez Pueblo Trust lands and critical habitat for the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse and the Mexican spotted owl.

Closures: FR 376 is closed from Gilman Tunnels to Porter Landing.  Campers and day trip visitors in the vicinity have been notified by USDA Forest Service law enforcement to leave the area.

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, NM 550, Gilman, Jemez Pueblo and areas near NM State Route 4. Smoke may be visible from I-25, 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 the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com and on Twitter @SantaFeNF and www.facebook.com/SantaFeNF.

For News Media inquiries call (505) 231-0038.

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