El Valle Blaze is fully contained

Taos, NM (KKOB) — Fire crews fully contained the 525-acre El Valle Fire by the end of their shift Sunday evening. They will continue to maintain a presence in the area to patrol and mop-up interior heat before calling it controlled and out. Suppression repair activities will also continue.

“I want to thank all the firefighters that responded to this incident, especially those who responded immediately after smoke was first reported” said Incident Commander Fabian Montaño. “Working across boundaries is imperative for the success in all aspects of wildland fire.”

The following cooperators responded to the El Valle Fire to assist Carson National Forest fire crews, listed in alphabetical order: 

  • Albuquerque Fire Rescue  
  • Angel Fire Fire Department 
  • Black Hills National Forest (Tatanka Hotshots) 
  • Bureau of Land Management 
  • Chimayo Volunteer Fire Department 
  • Cochiti Volunteer Fire Department 
  • Coconino National Forest 
  • Durango (CO) Tanker Base  
  • Slide Mountain Hand Crew, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection 
  • Dixon Volunteer Fire Department 
  • La Mesilla Volunteer Fire Department 
  • Nevada State Crew – Slide Mountain 
  • New Mexico State Forestry 
  • Ojo Sarco Volunteer Fire Department 
  • Penasco Volunteer Fire Department 
  • Picuris Pueblo 
  • Rio Grande Volunteer Fire Department 
  • Santa Fe County (Chimayo Fire District) 
  • Santa Fe City Fire Department 
  • Santa Fe National Forest 
  • Taos County Fire 
  • Taos Pueblo 

Law enforcement, dispatch and ambulance services were provided by

  • Bureau of Land Management 
  • Durango (CO) Interagency Dispatch Center 
  • Mora County Sheriff’s Department 
  • New Mexico State Police 
  • Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Department and Dispatch 
  • Taos County Sheriff’s Department and Dispatch 
  • US Forest Service 
  • Village of Questa* 

Partnerships will continue to be critical to responses and forest management of the Carson National Forest, especially in the Enchanted Circle Landscape, which includes the El Valle Fire burn area. The landscape is a 1.5-million-acre area in and around the forest that is one of the most vulnerable areas in the country to wildfire and a priority for treatment under the national Wildfire Crisis Strategy.

For example, the Carson National Forest has entered into a Good Neighbor Agreement with Taos County to, in part, facilitate preparation and implementation of prescribed fire, including a portion of the El Valle Fire burn area, which was slated for pile burning this upcoming winter. An analysis and public discussions about that project area are forthcoming.

The El Valle Fire was first reported at 12:49 p.m. on Sep. 8, just south of El Valle, N.M. Ground and air resources responded, with over 160 fire personnel assigned at the height of the incident, including investigators who continue to look into the fire’s cause.

Weather greatly aided crews with the arrival of high relative humidities at first and then over an inch and a half of rain, as measured by a nearby remote automated weather station in Truchas, N.M.

The fire’s total size is 525 acres, with approximately 340 acres of National Forest land and 180 acres of non-Forest Service lands within the fire perimeter.