Crews Contain Blaze In Valles Caldera Preserve

Jul 2, 2013

It has taken firefighters a month to corral a wildfire that has burned through the heart of northern New Mexico's Jemez Mountains.

Fire managers declared the Thompson Ridge Fire 100 percent contained on Monday.

The blaze burned more than 37 square miles in the Valles Caldera National Preserve after being sparked May 31 by a downed power line. At one point, it threatened historic cabins and barns at the preserve but crews were able to save the structures.

Scientists recently wrapped up assessments of the damage. Their recommendations for dealing with post-fire flooding, runoff and other effects of the blaze are expected to be spelled out in a report to be released this week.

Their analysis shows about one-quarter of the Thompson Ridge Fire burned at moderate and high severity.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.