Thompson Ridge firefighters go on the offensive

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The Monday morning update from the Central West Incident Management Team indicated progress in stopping forward momentum in the wildfire.


"Following a full day of preparations on the ground and continuous attack from the air with heavy helicopters, firefighters were prepared to go on the offensive," fire officials said in a statement.

"Firefighters worked through the night taking advantage of the favorable window of opportunity. The night shift crews conducted an aggressive direct attack on the fire on southeastern side at South Mountain. Their calculated risk paid off, and the forward progress of the fire has been stopped.

"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."

Sunday, members of the New Mexico National Guard, 111th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 717th Brigade Support Battalion, Bravo Company and 920th Engineering Company, deployed with 10 Medium Tactical Vehicles (MTV’s) and 20 personnel, joined the efforts on the Thompson Ridge Fire. Todd Haines, New Mexico State Forestry, advised of the availability of the National Guard. The unit was requested. The Governor’s office authorized the deployment and the Incident Management Team accepted the offer.

"The Guardsmen from the 111th MEB, Companies Engineering and Bravo, are full time, part time, and volunteer with regular duties ranging from security, to military police, to mechanical specialists. Many of the members also have experience supporting emergency services at wildfires and hurricanes," the statement said.

Here's the latest recap of personnel and resources being used to get the blaze under control:

Acres: 21,089

Start date: May 31, 2013

Cause: Downed powerline

Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve, NM

Containment: 40 percent

Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine

Terrain: Steep, rugged

Resources: 21 crews, 49 engines, 31 water tenders, 4 dozersTotal personnel: 1,014

Available air support: 3 air tankers, 6 helicopters