New Mexico firefighter dies after suffering burn injuries

A volunteer firefighter from the eastern New Mexico town of Nara Vista died Thursday after suffering severe burns on a large wildfire in Quay County (map). A second firefighter was injured but has been released from the hospital.

Below is an excerpt from an article at the Eastern New Mexico News:

John Cammack, 74, of Nara Visa, was severely burned after falling from a fire engine during a “burn over” Wednesday night, said Nara Visa Fire Chief Gary Girard.

Girard said a second firefighter, Kyle Perez, was also injured during the incident.

He said the firefighters were attempting to refill a fire engine with a water tanker when the winds shifted abruptly.

“We were no longer fighting the fire, we were running from the fire,” Girard said.

Girard said the flames were as high as the fire engine as they fled the area. He said Cammack was transported to Lubbock for treatment and Perez was admitted to a hospital in Amarillo.

Perez’ condition was not released, but a family member posted on social media that he’d been released from the hospital.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Willard.
Typos or errors, report them HERE.

Satellite photo of wildfires in the Southwest

The image above from the Goes-16 satellite shows smoke from the large fires in Arizona and New Mexico on June 17, 2017.

Below: in the two hours since it left the Santa Fe Municipal Airport, an Aero Commander air attack aircraft owned by “N9FX” has orbited the Cajete Fire west of Los Alamos, NM many, many times.Cajete Fire Air Attack Ship

Cajete Fire west of Los Alamos doubles in size

Above: A 3-D map of the Cajete Fire in northern New Mexico. The red line was the perimeter at 10 p.m. MDT June 16, 2017. The white line was from about 20 hours earlier. 

(UPDATED at 11:54 a.m. MDT June 17, 2017)

The Cajete Fire in the Santa Fe National Forest doubled in size on Friday, increasing to 1,325 acres. The fire has burned on both sides of Highway 4 in the Santa Fe National Forest 7 miles northeast of Jemez Springs and 12 miles west of Los Alamos in northern New Mexico.

The fire is spreading mostly through timber. Yesterday the southeast portion moved into the footprint of the Las Conchas Fire that burned 63 structures and 156,000 acres in 2011. It is likely that in the six-year old fire scar there will be less resistance to control.

Officials believe the fire started approximately one mile northeast of Vallecitos de los Indios but have not yet released a cause. The burned area runs along the East Fork of the Jemez River.

Approximately 70 structures are threatened, many of which have been evacuated, including a lookout tower.

On Friday the fire ran up a slope south of Highway 4, from 8,300 feet above sea level to about 9,300 feet.

On Friday the firefighting resources assigned included about 150 personnel, multiple engines, one bulldozer, four helicopters (including a rappel ship), five air tankers, and two air attack platforms.

As this was written at 11:50 a.m. MDT on June 17, a C-130Q air tanker had just departed the fire after presumably dropping a load of fire retardant. See the map below.

C-130Q air tanker Cajete Fire
A C-130Q air tanker departs the Cajete Fire at 11:50 a.m. MDT June 17, 2017.

Mark von Tillow’s Type 1 Incident Management Team from California assumed command at 7 a.m. on Saturday, taking over from a Type 3 Team. The official strategy of the team is to fully suppress the fire.

Map Bonita and Cajete Fires
Map showing the location of the Bonita and Cajete Fires north of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Cajete Fire west of Los Alamos causes evacuations

The Bonita Fire continues to burn in the Carson National Forest.

Above: Map showing the location of the Cajete Fire in northern New Mexico at 2:04 a.m. MDT June 16, 2017.

The Cajete Fire in northern New Mexico grew quickly after it was reported on Thursday, burning about 660 acres in the first burning period along the southern boundary of the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The fire has burned on both sides of Highway 4 in the Santa Fe National Forest 7 miles northeast of Jemez Springs and 12 miles west of Los Alamos.

It burned intensely Thursday to the east creating spot fires more than 600 feet ahead of the main fire.

On Thursday approximately 200 people were evacuated from the communities of Los Griegos, Sierra de los Pinos, and the Ruby Holt Plat.

California’s Interagency Incident Management Team #3, a Type 1 team led by Mark von Tillow, was dispatched to the fire Thursday after being staged in Mesa, Arizona. The strategy  on the fire is full suppression.

Map Cajete wildfires Bonita Fires
Map showing the location of the Cajete and Bonita Fires in northern New Mexico, June 16, 2017.

Steve Bassett constructed the map below showing that the Cajeta Fire is partially hemmed in by several large fires that occurred between 2005 and 2016 — the Thompson Ridge, Valle, Big Hat, and Las Conchas Fires. It is possible that if it burns into those fire scars the rate of spread will decrease.

The Bonita Fire farther to the north in the Carson National Forest has been burning since June 3 and has been very active today and yesterday, spreading across 4,170 acres. It is being managed in both full suppression and confine strategies, depending on the location. It is 4 miles south of highway 64, 9 miles west of Highway 285, and 9 miles southwest of Tres Piedras.

The smoke plume from both the Bonita and Cajeta Fires can be clearly seen in the satellite image above.

RJ85 drops Cajete Fire wildfire
An RJ85 drops on the Cajete Fire, June 15, 2017. It appears to be AeroFlite’s Tanker 163. Screen grab from KRQE video.

Five fires are burning in the Gila National Forest

Above: A satellite detected smoke from 5 fires in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico on June 14, 2017. The red dots on the map represent heat. The acreages shown were reported within the last 48 hours.

Five wildfires burning in the Gila National Forest in southwest New Mexico are all being managed using a strategy of less than full suppression.

For example, the Round Fire is listed like this:

  • Confine (25%)
  • Full Suppression (25%)
  • Monitor (25%)
  • Point Zone Protection (25%)

There are a total of eight large wildfires in New Mexico that are uncontained and are being managed with a less than full suppression strategy. Arizona has 12 large uncontained fires, and 6 are being fully suppressed.

The Southwest Geographic area is in Preparedness Level 4 (5 is the highest possible). The National PL is 2.

round fire new mexico
Round Fire – view from Lookout Mountain. Posted on InciWeb June 13, 2017.