Fire officials have announced the Big Hole Fire is now at 40 percent contained.
The bosque fire began around 1:30 p.m., Monday, April 11, and by Wednesday, April 13, has burned 904 acres.
Valencia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Joseph Rowland said the containment was due to the work of the Arizona hot shot crew who arrived on scene Tuesday evening, and favorable wind and weather conditions that night.
The fire has been pushed back from the area near Sedillo and Silva roads in Adelino, on the east side of the Rio Grande. The fire started on the west side of the river near the river bridge in the city of Belen, quickly jumped to the other side and ran north, pushed by wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph.
Rowland said there are no residential structures threatened at this time, and there are no planned evacuations or planned road closures for the next operational period, from 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 13, to 6 a.m., Thursday, April 14.
Conditions will be reevaluated on Thursday morning.
In order to let fire crews continue their suppression efforts of the Big Hole Fire in the bosque, local law enforcement officials, in cooperation with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, have closed all river access points from the village of Los Lunas to south to the city of Belen.
All ditchbank access roads and points of entry are closed to the public, according to a press release sent out by the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday afternoon.
This closure includes both east and west side access points along the river. The closed areas are from the Belen river bridge north to the Los Lunas river bridge.
These roads and access points are currently for official government use only. Any pedestrian or vehicle traffic caught in the area will be directed to immediately depart, and repeat offenders will be cited.
“We appreciate the communities support in this matter as our first responders continue to protect lives and property,” Rowland said.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.