New Mexico fire prompts evacuation of as many as 200

State police closed N.M. 4 at the intersection with N.M. 501. She went into the evacuated zones three separate times to rescue animals, but she said she didn't see any homes damaged. 4 in the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico, Thursday June 15, 2017.

About 175 firefighters were battling the fire by Thursday evening, along with a Type 1 helicopter - usually deployed to the most severe blazes - and air tankers. The blaze was first reported about 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A popular getaway, the Jemez Mountains are dotted with homes, summer cabins, numerous campgrounds, fishing spots and the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

The fire produced a plume of smoke that could be seen for miles.

As many as 200 residents had to leave their homes as the fire spread Thursday to more than a square mile near the boundary of the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve.

The Cajete Fire continues to intensify in the Santa Fe national forest.

As the fire moved south and east, smoke was expected to billow into the Rio Grande Valley on Friday.

Miles to the east in Los Alamos, officials said they were prepared to help residents but no evacuation centers had been established.

The fire is about 20 miles away from Los Alamos and burn scars from previous fires in the area may keep it from hitting the city.

She says the blaze is the Jemez Mountains west of Los Alamos and about 300 structures could be at risk. "No federal agencies are conducting prescribed fires now that we have entered fire season".

As many as 200 residents from subdivisions west of Los Alamos were evacuated Thursday as the fire quickly grew to cover about one square mile near the boundary of the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve.

Residents are being forced from their homes because of a 600-acre fire in the Jemez Mountains. An officer on the scene said it would remain closed "indefinitely" and declined all other questions.

Several communities, including Ruby Hole, Los Griegos and Sierra de Los Pinos, are being evacuated.

Still, Hosford, who has lived in the area since 1981, said he wasn't too anxious, because his father is a former firefighter. It started Thursday morning between Los Alamos and Jemez Springs.

Day-use shelters at Fenton Lake State Park are also available for evacuees. The wildfire burning in northern New Mexico prompted the evacuation Thursday of residents and led the governor to activate the state emergency operations center.

"We're set up to help as much as we can", Larson said.

Sandoval County authorities initially reported that the fire was a controlled burn in the Jemez Mountains that got out of control. Blount, her husband and mother-in-law took shelter in the La Cueva Lodge.

  • Larry Hoffman