Evacuations ordered due to El Valle Fire south of Peñasco

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The U.S. Forest Service and multiple local fire departments responded to the El Valle Fire in the greater Peñasco area Friday. The fire is estimated to be 525 acres and containment is 58%.

Officials with Taos County Fire say the wildfire is in the wilderness area east of Las Trampas, near El Valle.

Forest Roads 207 and 714 were closed Monday to the public to help firefighter access the fire. However, the road remains open to residents.

N.M. 76 has been reopened from mile marker 18 (one mile east of Truchas) to mile marker 29 (one mile west of Peñasco) due to the fire, according to the New Mexico Department of Transportation. The Santa Barbara Campground is also closed.

Taos County Sheriff’s Office says El Valle and Las Trampas were evacuated. Ojitos, Upper Ojitos, Ojo Sarco, Chamisal and Llano San Juan are under the “set” evacuation status, meaning they should be prepared for the possibility of evacuation. Rodarte, Santa Barbara, Hodges, Truchas are under “ready” status, so they should also be on alert.

“I want to thank the community for their patience with the evacuations,” said Incident Commander Fabian Montaño Sunday. “With the possibility of unpredictable winds, the unified team wanted to be extra careful before repopulating communities.” 

Evacuation centers are located at Truchas Services Center (60 County Road 75, Truchas, N.M. 87578) and Peñasco Community Center (14136 NM-75 Peñasco, NM 87553).

An emergency alert sent by the Santa Fe County Office of Emergency Management said the fire poses no threat to Santa Fe, and asks residents to not call 911.

Officials say one outbuilding has been damaged.

Smoke from the fire was first reported just before 1 p.m. Friday.