New smoke plume not unexpected, officials say in latest update

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UPDATE: 2:45 p.m. Monday

Officials say the new column of smoke residents are seeing is a result of a flareup in the fire's interior. It is not coming from the fire's leading edges.

"These hotspots are just a natural progression of the fire within the center of the fire," said Fire Information Officer Mark Openshaw. "We have not done any firing operations today. We also have helicopters putting water on the fire to slow it down a little to make it more of a healthy burn."

With the southeastern fire perimeters being held at nearly a mile from N.M. 4, fire officials have reopened the highway. As a safety reminder, all are advised to take extra caution in the area due to  the continued heavy volume of fire related traffic

N.M. 4 was closed from New Mexico Highway 126 to New Mexico Highway 501 for a little less than 24 hours.  

Also, Monday morning officials announced that voluntary evacuation orders had been lifted.

"The voluntary evacuation order for Thompson Ridge, Rancho de la Cueva, and Elk Valley will be lifted today at 4 p.m.," officials said in a brief statement.

Forest Service Road 105 remains closed to all traffic north of Thompson Ridge at the junction with Valles Caldera Road 08.

The pre-evacuation notice for Bennett Subdivision remains in effect.