Las Tusas – San Miguel County – Update 6 #nmfire

Firefighters are making significant progress in securing the fire line. Mop up operations are in place to create a barrier of “cold black” along the fire line. The cold black barrier will act like a catcher’s mitt, keeping embers and other potential threats within the fire line. Yesterday’s progress brought the fire’s containment to 30%. More accurate mapping via GPS by aircraft has shown the fire size to be 969 acres. As of 1:30 pm on May 12, 2023, evacuation orders have been lifted for the area. The orders affected 165 residences, and an estimated 492 individuals. All road closures have been lifted. Fire managers are assessing fire suppression damage and implementing plans to repair any damage caused by the suppression activities. San Miguel County Sheriff’s office damage assessment found 3 structures were lost, along with 10 outbuildings.

Start date:  May 11, 2023

Location:  West of Sapello, NM approximately 12 miles north of Las Vegas, NM

Cause:  Unknown, under investigation

Size: 969 acres, acreage reduced due to more accurate mapping via GPS by aircraft.     

Percent Contained:  30%

Resources:  2 Hotshot crews, 2 Type 2 IA Handcrew, 2 dozers, 11 engines, 1 water tenders, 1 Type 3 Helicopters.

Evacuations: Evacuations have been lifted. The Red Cross Evacuation Center at Abe Montoya Recreation Center and Storrie Lake are no longer evacuation centers.                                                                                                                                      

Closures: Law enforcement is assisting with a traffic control presence in the area. Onlooker traffic has been heavy throughout the week.

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   An interactive smoke map at allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.

Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public are always the first priority. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website. The Forest Stewards Guild offers a HEPA Filter Loan Program that are available on a first come/first served basis. Additional information on air filters and the HEPA loan program is posted at

Fire updates will be posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website, as well as the NM State Forestry Division Twitter.


George Ducker 

Communications Coordinator 

New Mexico State Forestry Division – EMNRD 

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