This time of year, business is usually thriving for Jemez retailers, yet, another fire season begins to take its toll.
The typical crowds of campers, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts have now been replaced with buses and trucks full of personnel working in shifts and sleeping in tents while fighting the Thompson Ridge Fire.
Although the lands within the Santa Fe National Forest have remained open throughout the course of the fire, recreational visitors are currently staying clear of the area, it seems, mostly due to fear of heavy smoke and misinformation regarding road and forest closures.
Garth and Robin Bascom, owners of the Elk Mountain Lodge in La Cueva, said that guests booked as far off as July, have called and cancelled their reservations citing the fire as the reason for their decision. Robin said that she has had six cancellations in just the past week alone.
Many who are not familiar with the Jemez area have a false impression of how close the fire and smoke is to other popular outdoor destinations.
The fire is currently burning only in the Valles Caldera with smoke actually moving the opposite direction of La Cueva and Jemez Springs.