Big Hole Fire – Valencia County, April 11, 2022, Evening Update

The Big Hole Fire, located north of River Road in the community of Belen in Valencia County, is now estimated at 300 acres and 0% contained. The fire transitioned to a Type 3 organization at 6 p.m. this evening. The fire is burning on both sides of the Rio Grande and continues to threaten nearby structures. Evacuations remain in place tonight for residents of approximately 200 homes. An evacuation center has been established at the Belen Recreation Center at 305 Eagle Lane. There are reports of structures burned. An assessment and confirmation of the types of buildings lost will be conducted tomorrow (04/12) pending fire activity.

Highway 47 is closed from Tomé Hill Road south to the Belen river bridge on East River Road. The Belen bridge is also closed. Wind and low humidity continue to impact fire activity. Approximately 100 firefighters from multiple agencies are assisting the Forestry Division and Valencia County Fire Department, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and local volunteer fire departments. The Big Hole Fire was initially reported at 1:30 p.m. today (04/11). The cause is under investigation.

Livestock and Pets: The Valencia County Sheriff’s Posse is currently stationed at the Tomé fire department with trucks and trailers for livestock evacuations. Those needing assistance may contact Liz Marquez at (505) 803-7373. The Valencia County Animal Shelter is available to receive small pets, 505-866-2479.

Smoke: Individuals sensitive to wildfire smoke should take precautions and use the New Mexico Department of Health 5-3-1 Visibility Method to determine if it’s safe to be outside. Learn more at 

Start Date & Time: 04/11/2022 1330

Start Location: Belen Bosque North of River Road

Latitude: 34.6648

Longitude: -106.7469

Cause of Fire: Under investigation Area Vegetation: Bosque

Estimated Acres Burned: 60+

Ownership(s): State and private

Structures Threatened: Yes

Structures Burned: Yes, unknown type

Evacuations: Yes

Wendy Mason
Wildfire Prevention & Communications Coordinator
Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Dept. (EMNRD)

Forestry Division

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