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Las Conchas Wildfire – Day 3

Las Conchas WildfireContainment has started, and while the fire didn’t spread, it is burning actively within its perimeter. To better handle the fire, operations are being split into northern and southern operations, and an Area Command Team brought in to coordinate.

As a result of the 2000 Cerro Grande Fire, a controlled burn that got out of hand, LANL has taken major measures to control and combat fire on the facility, as has the city of Los Alamos. The climate conditions that led to this fire didn’t happen overnight, and people have been anticipating that a fire would erupt at some point.

Update: They hadn’t yet updated the size of the fire at this morning’s briefing. The fire grew by about 8800 acres.

Information from the current Las Conchas Wildfire InciWeb Page

  • Date Started: 6/26/2011
  • Location: Jemez Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest; approximately 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos off NM 4 at mile marker 35, New Mexico
  • Cause: Unknown – under investigation
  • Size: 69,555 acres [109 miles² 281 km²] based on infrared data
  • Percent Contained: 3%
  • Injuries to Date: 0
  • Residences: 12 destroyed
  • Number of Personnel: Approximately 341 including 3 hotshot crews and 9 hand crews
  • Equipment: 4 dozers, 12 engines
  • Aircraft: 5 helicopters
  • Incident Commander: Joe S. Reinar, Type I Incident Management Team

Area Command Team 1 (Dan Oltrogge, Area Commander) and an additional Type 1 Incident Management Team (Dugger Hughes, Incident Commander) in-briefed with host agencies today. The fire will be zoned beginning tomorrow. Rienarz’s Type 1 Incident Management Team will manage the north zone of the fire and Hughes’s Incident Management Team will manage the south zone.

A Sandoval County Assessment team is completing a post fire damage assessment. Their current assessment has documented twelve residences destroyed.

Fire activity today was active with short range spotting and short crown runs. Fire growth occurred in all directions. The fire had some thunderstorm activity however no measurable precipitation occurred over the fire.

North – Firefighters scouted potential fireline and burnout opportunities, including opportunities for aerial ignition on peaks to help moderate fire intensity. There is active fire in the Pajarito Ski Resort. Firefighters are providing structural protection in the area. Firefighters constructed dozer line around a slopover north of State Road (SR) 4. Aerial resources were unable to fly in the afternoon due to smoky conditions in the area.

East side – Firefighters are mopping up along State Road (SR) 4. The area is looking good east of SR 501. Structural protection continues in Bandelier National Monument.

South side – The fire is backing down several drainages. Firefighters are scouting for potential fireline south of the fire.

[For the latest information click on the Fire symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Fires” for all of the posts related to wildfires on this site.]