Parts of Jemez Mountains to close due to fire
Santa Fe National Forest officials are closing parts of the Jemez Mountains near the Venado Fire as firefighters work to quell the flames.
The closure area in the Jemez Ranger District includes a large swath to the west and northwest of Jemez Springs including Virgin, Holiday, Schoolhouse, Stable, Cebollita and Joaquin mesas, and Forest Roads 376 and 588, according to a closure order.
Firefighters, people with Forest Service licenses and landowners crossing the lands to access private property are the only people allowed in, the order says. Anyone who violates the order is subject to a fine of up to $5,000.
The lightning-caused Venado Fire has been burning in a remote area west of Jemez Springs since July 20 and has grown to nearly 3,000 acres. A Thursday update on the fire said it was only 10 percent contained. There are 318 personnel battling the blaze under the direction of a Type 4 incident management team, the update said.
The fire website NMFireInfo.com says the fire could expand west onto Jemez Pueblo lands, and that firefighters are prioritizing work that would protect structures on pueblo territory. They are also working to keep the fire west of Forest Road 376 and south of Forest Road 534.
Potential storms Friday could cause flash flooding in areas that were badly burned, the update says.
Smoke from the fire could linger in communities including San Ysidro, Gilman, Jemez Pueblo and more, the fire update cautioned. People with smoke sensitivity can find information on smoke at nmtracking.org/fire and information on how to loan air filters at santafefireshed.org/hepa-filter-loan-program.
The New Mexican