11 a.m. As the massive effort to fight the Dog Head Fire continues, with now about 1,000 people on the ground and a new Type-1 Team taking over management of the multi-agency effort continues, conditions are currently quiet and the evacuation zones have not been increased, according to officials.
Interactive maps of the fire are here.
Torrance County Emergency Manager Javier Sanchez said that the fire is still “very active” and “creeping.”
Sanchez said that pockets of unburned trees are still going up inside the fire zone, because the fire is so hot that when it hits a tree it “bursts into flames.” He said the fire still “poses a great threat and potential danger” to those who are trying to get back to their homes.
Sanchez said that yesterday and today, Monday, “a lot of progress is being made” as weather conditions have been favorable. He described current efforts as offensive, not defensive.
Sanchez said this morning at 10:30 a.m. that he was minutes away from heading into a briefing and expects to have news to report in the early afternoon on the current behavior of the fire and operational aspects of fighting it.
“Re-entry [by residents] can not take place with a fire like this at 9 percent containment,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez said there is a defense line created by bulldozers and people on the ground, that extends all the way around the perimeter of the fire, now estimated at just under 18,000 acres after little growth through the weekend. He said that fire line is stronger on the eastern side of the blaze, where it threatens many homes if the fire were to spread again at speeds seen last week.
A public information officer at the fire command center in Estancia, Taylor Anaya, placed the size of the fire at 17,944 acres after last night’s infrared flight. She said winds are currently out of the Southeast and pushing north.
Both Sanchez and Anaya said that the fire evacuation zones have not changed from what has previously been reported.
Briefing meetings will be held again today, with one planned for 4:30 p.m. at Roosevelt Middle School in Tijeras, and another planned for 7 p.m. at the East Torrance Soil & Water Conservation District in Estancia.
The most recent update from the Dog Head Fire information page set up on Facebook says that the east side of the fire is expected to be most active today.
“There was good overnight humidity recovery in the fire area last night, which will delay the burn period today,” the release says. “However, as temperatures warm and vegetation dries out, pockets of heat may become more active in the afternoon.”
The release says there are “many long fingers of fire” on the eastern side of the blaze, adding, “Firefighters willl be watching for small isolated areas that line up with the winds that could make westward runs.”
Variable winds are expected on the southwest side of the fire, the release says. Winds from the east this afternoon may push the fire west. “However, as mop-up strengthens the fire line, the likelihood of spotting diminishes.”