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NMEOC/DHSEM Thompson Ridge Fire Update

on June 5, 2013 - 11:44am


Updated information the Thompson Ridge Fire this morning from the New Mexico Emergency Operations Center and the Dept. of Homeland Security emergency Management:

  • The fire has grown to 9,394 acres.
  • There is a spot fire burning just north of the fire line and is approximately 68 acres: It is lined and believed to be contained. Much of the focus will be on the spot fire today and this evening.
  • The main fire has moved past the Valles Caldera HQ structures with no damage reported.
  • More resource requests have been made for equipment.
  • Thompson Ridge evacuation area may be lifted this

Los Alamos Rotary Named Club of the Year!

on June 4, 2013 - 11:12am

Rotary President Linda Hull holds the 'Club of the Year' plaque awarded to the Los Alamos Rotary Club at the annual District Conference last month in Las Cruces. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Los Alamos Daily Post

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos brought home a carload of trophies from the recent District Conference in Las Cruces including the prestigious “Club of the Year” for 2012-2013.

"This is extremely exciting news and reflects the District’s recognition of the good work we have done throughout this Rotary year to serve in the Five Avenues of Service:

Thompson Ridge Fire Grows Overnight

on June 4, 2013 - 10:32am


Bill Knight shared this MODIS image from 1:15 a.m. today showing where the Thompson Ridge Fire has increased overnight. Courtesy photo

Thompson Ridge Fire Update - June 4 at 10:30 a.m.

Acres: 4,451 Start date: May 31, 2013
Cause: Under Investigation Location: 10 miles north of Jemez
Containment: 5 percent Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine
Terrain: Steep, rugged Resources: 14 crews, 32 engines, 4 water tenders, 2 dozers
Total personnel: 591 Available air support: 5 helicopters

Summary: Today firefighters again expect extreme fire behavior due to the continued warm weather, windy conditions

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard Attends National Meeting in Cincinnati

on June 4, 2013 - 10:12am

Los Alamos air service to Albuquerque continues to grow in popularity and Monday's 6:30 a.m. flight was nearly filled to capacity. On Monday's flight was State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, left, who took the early flight on her way to attend a national meeting in Cincinnati for legislators dealing with DOE site cleanup and other nuclear industry related issues. Garcia Richard is a member of the National Conference of State Legislators’ Nuclear Legislative Workgroup. Courtesy photo

Thompson Ridge Fire: June 3 Evening Update

on June 3, 2013 - 10:57pm

Smoke-filled sky from the Thompson Ridge Fire looking west from Los Alamos. Photo by Leland Lehman/


Acres: 3,229; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Under Investigation; Location: 10 miles north of Jemez; Containment: 5 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 14 crews, 32 engines, 4 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 591 Available air support: 5 helicopters.

Summary: Today like yesterday, weather was the fire story.

Thompson Ridge; Tres Lagunas Fire Updates - Morning of June 3

on June 3, 2013 - 12:00pm

Thompson Ridge Fire approximately a half-mile from homes this weekend as firefighters battle the blaze with buckets of slurry dropped from the air. Photo by Ron Brown

Thompson Ridge Fire at 1:22 p.m., June 1. Photo by Ron Brown

Thompson Ridge Fire at 5:45 p.m., May 31. Photo by Ron Brown

Thompson Ridge Fire at 9 p.m., June 2 approximately a half-mile from homes. Photo by Ron Brown

Staff Report

June 3, 2013 9 a.m.

Acres: 2,229

Start date: May 31, 2013

Cause: Under Investigation

Location: 10 miles north of Jemez

Containment: 5 percent

Fuels: Mixed

Updates on Thompson Ridge, Tres Lagunas and Calf Fires

on June 2, 2013 - 9:56pm

Panoramic view of the Thompson Ridge Fire taken at 3:30 p.m. today east of Redondo. Photo by Brian McCool

Helicopters get water from Fenton Lake at 3 p.m. today. Photo by Brian McCool

Staff Report

Thompson Ridge Fire
  • Time/Date Reported: May 31, 2013, 2:40 p.m.
  • Location: 8 miles northeast of Jemez Springs near La Cueva
  • Legal Description: T19N, R3E, Sec 9
  • Cause: Human, downed power line
  • Fuels: Grass, Ponderosa Pine, Brush, Mixed Conifer
  • Size: Approximately 1,200 acres
  • Percent Contained: 0
  • Resources Committed: 4 Type 1 Interagency Hotshot Crews, 1 Type 1 Helicopters, 1 Type 3 Helicopter, 9 engines

Thompson Ridge Fire Burning Valles Caldera Land West of Redondo Peak

on June 2, 2013 - 12:05pm

Taken a short time ago today above La Cueva facing east, the Thompson Ridge Fire is burning on Valles Caldera National Preserve land west of Redondo Peak. Fire crews report that the terrain is difficult to work in. Weather is not posing a major problem today because so far the winds are light and blowing from the south. Photo by Greg Kendall/

Bandelier Enters Stage II Fire Restriction!

on June 2, 2013 - 9:58am

Ponderosa Campground. Photo by Sally King


Stage II Fire Restrictions will go into effect for Bandelier National Monument at midnight Wednesday, June 5, and will remain in effect until weather conditions change. 

“These restrictions are a result of high fire danger, low fuel moistures, and regional fire preparedness level. We have been experiencing many warm windy days and these restrictions will reduce the threat of human caused fires in the monument,” Park Superintendent Jason Lott said.

Bandelier National Monument staff remind visitors that under Stage II fire

MODIS Images of Thompson Ridge Fire

on June 2, 2013 - 9:01am
MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) images of the Thompson Ridge Fire as of about 11 p.m. Saturday, June 1. Courtesy/Bill Knight, Los Alamos

Repair Work to Cause Temporary Closure of Bandelier's Alcove House

on May 31, 2013 - 10:44am
One of the ladders leading up the cliff to Alcove House, Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS

For months, the stonework of the kiva at Alcove House (formerly known as Ceremonial Cave) in Bandelier National Monument has become more and more unstable.


Recently that part of the alcove was fenced off as a temporary measure so visitors could go up the ladders and enjoy the rest of the alcove while staying clear of any rocks that might break off from the weakened kiva walls.

Luján Announces $180,000 in Economic Development

on May 31, 2013 - 8:08am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján


SANTA FE - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District has announced that the North Central New Mexico Economic Development District will receive $180,000 through the Economic Development Administration to assist with efforts to increase private capital investments and job creation in the region.

"A comprehensive strategy to promote economic growth is essential in the effort to attract businesses that can create jobs in the private sector," Luján said.

Governor's Former Campaign Manager Indicted on Computer Intrusion and False Statement Charges

on May 30, 2013 - 5:00pm

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE—U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and Carol K.O. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, announced that a federal grand jury has indicted Jamie Estrada, 40, of Los Lunas on computer intrusion and false statement charges.

The charges against Estrada arise out of the interception of wire communications intended for others, including New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and members of her staff.

Counts one through 12 of the 14-count indictment allege that Estrada unlawfully intercepted wire communication intended for individuals who had e-mail


Governor Appoints Jim Hall to State's IT Commission

on May 29, 2013 - 9:18am

Commissioner Jim Hall


Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed James Hall of Los Alamos to New Mexico's 15-member Information Technology Commission.

New Mexico's Information Technology Commission reviews and approves information technology plans and initiatives for the state.

"I look forward to working with the Information Technology Commission," Hall told the Los Alamos Daily Post this morning.

Saturday Event Marks Largest Submarine Crew Visit in New Mexico’s History

on May 26, 2013 - 9:24am
USS Santa Fe: Crew members of the USS Santa Fe Submarine smile for the cameras along with the Red Turtle Dancers. Photo by Kirsten Laskey
Lawry Mann of Los Alamos shares in a buffet of traditional Pueblo food at Saturday's event honoring USS Santa Fe crew members. Photo by Kirsten Laskey

SAN ILDEFONSO PUEBLO – USS Santa Fe Submarine Culinary Specialist Third Class Joseph Aispuro may be off-duty but he still started his Saturday at 7 a.m. and in a typical setting – the kitchen.

This kitchen, however, is not located in a submarine but in the home of Deborah and Elmer


SFNF; Valles Caldera in Stage I Fire Restrictions

on May 25, 2013 - 7:24am

USFS News:

Despite recent scattered rain showers, the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve entered Stage 1 fire restrictions at 8 a.m.Tuesday, May 14, due to extreme/exceptional drought conditions and high fire danger.

The Pecos Wilderness and San Pedro Parks Wilderness areas are exempt from Stage I fire restrictions. Devices solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuel that can be turned on and off are allowed in areas that are barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device.

During Stage I fire restrictions,

Luján: Republican Student Loan Bill Makes College More Expensive

on May 24, 2013 - 6:15am


Washington, D.C. - Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District voted today against a House Republican bill that will make it more expensive for students to attend college with federal subsidized Stafford student loans. With the interest rate on these loans set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on June 1 action is needed to keep costs down for millions of students across the country.

"Rather than passing legislation that simply keeps interest rates on student loans where they are, House Republicans have come up with a disappointing plan that is

Bandelier Memorial Day Activities; Shuttle Buses Begin Friday

on May 23, 2013 - 3:24pm

Frijoles Canyon. Courtesy/NPS


The Memorial Day holiday marks the beginning of the summer season at Bandelier National Monument, with the shuttle buses beginning Friday, May 24, and special activities happening throughout the weekend.

"If you haven't been to Bandelier lately, this is a good time to come," Park Superintendent Jason Lott said. "You can catch a free bus in White Rock, relax and enjoy the scenery on the way to and from the park, and have a leisurely day with the family in Frijoles Canyon."

The shuttle buses begin running Friday morning.

Luján: To Combat Climate Change We Need a Workforce Prepared to Work in a Clean Energy Economy

on May 17, 2013 - 7:43am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján


WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District and a member of the Safe Climate Caucus spoke on the House floor last night about how enhancing green job training programs at community colleges can prepare workers for careers in a clean energy economy that helps address the impacts of climate change.

The Safe Climate Caucus, a group of Democratic members who are highlighting the need for action on climate change through daily floor speeches and other activities. Watch Luján's speech here:

NMDOT Seeks Public Comment on STIP

on May 16, 2013 - 9:41am


SANTA FE—The public is invited to comment on the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s 8th amendment to the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP.) 

The program will serve as a four year plan for the state’s federal aid highway program. The STIP contains proposed road and bridge projects and is required under the federal legislation. Projects on the list are on federal and state highways (roads with I, U.S. or NM designations).

The NMDOT has posted the 2012-2015 STIP amendment on the Internet asking for public comment until Thursday, June 20. In addition, NMDOT

In Focus Looks at Texas Water Rustling; NM Tea Party Scrutiny From IRS

on May 16, 2013 - 9:10am

Attorney General Gary King

NM PBS News:

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King talks about the state’s water battle with Texas on this week’s edition of NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS, airing 7 p.m. Friday, May 17 on New Mexico PBS/KNME 5.1.

With both states mired in historic droughts, every drop of water has the potential to be contentious. The A.G. says it amounts to “water rustling” but is there anything the state can do to prevent a Texan water grab?

Also on the program, open government issues still swirl around King and the Martinez administration as the two prepare to do battle in 2014.


Udall Addresses DOJ's Collection of AP Records, IRS Targeting and Mineral Royalties Bill

on May 15, 2013 - 7:29am
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On his weekly radio press conference call Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall discussed legislation he's introducing with Wyoming's senators to protect New Mexico’s mineral royalties from sequestration cuts.
He also expressed strong concern over the Department of Justice’s collection of Associated Press phone records and reacted to reports that the IRS targeted groups based on political ideology.
Below are highlights from Udall’s remarks:
0:00 – Udall

Udall Initiative Would Increase Graduation Rate, Help Underperforming Schools

on May 15, 2013 - 7:00am
Sen. Tom Udall
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With graduation season underway, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., introduced a bill today that would increase the graduation rate in New Mexico and across the nation.
Nationwide, approximately one-fifth of high school students drop out of school each year. According to the New Mexico Public Education Department, the state's graduation rate was 70.3 percent in 2012, with a 67.7 percent rate for Hispanic students and 64.9 percent for Native Americans.

Luján Cosponsors Bill to Protect New Mexico Royalty Payments from Sequester Cuts

on May 15, 2013 - 6:51am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District joined with a number of Representatives from Western states to introduce legislation that protects state mineral royalty payments from cuts due to the sequester.

The States Mineral Protection Act allows states the option of directly collecting their share of federal mineral royalties under the Mineral Leasing Act.