SFNF – Venado Fire Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Venado Fire UPDATE

Start Date: July 20

Cause: Lightning

Size: approximately 2,500 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. The forecast is for high temperatures, thunderstorms and outflow winds to continue. 

Resources on scene: 318 personnel, including four interagency hotshot crews, along with one type 3 helicopter, three engines, two dozers and a rapid extraction module. A Type 2 incident command team arrived today and will transition with the Type 3 team that is already in place.

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 are continuing 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 534 on the north and the Peggy Fire burn scar on the south.

The Venado Fire spotted over the northern boundary, reaching a previously thinned unit of about 1,500 acres where fuels are piled as part of a forest restoration project. Crews are focused on limiting the fire’s impact in the Joaquin Canyon drainage where the fuels reduction piles are located.

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: Road closures, including FR 376, are in effect. Forest Service and Sandoval County personnel cleared the area of campers to support fire operations. A formal closure order for the Venado Fire area is expected soon.

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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