| Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fires Combine NM Fire Info


April 23, 2022, daily update, 10:00 a.m.

Acres: 42,341 acres Start date: April 19, 2022
Cause: Under investigation
Total workforce : 419
Location: Located near the Gallinas Canyon
Fuels: Mixed conifer

Strong points: The loss of structure occurred due to yesterday’s extreme weather conditions which caused an uncontrolled line of fire which impacted communities. Firefighters and law enforcement now have access to areas where they can do so safely. Damage assessments will be ongoing and when information is gathered, residents will be contacted by the county.

For safety reasons, electricity was proactively shut off in Pendaries, County Road A-3A, Rociada, Manelitas and Canoncito. There are several road closures, including Highway 518 from Sapello North to Buena Vista. The safety of firefighters and the public remains the number one priority.

Operations: The focus on Friday was on the safety of people during evacuations and firefighters trying to engage safely. Fire officials coordinated with both county sheriff’s offices for timely evacuation notices throughout the day. With the rapid spread of the fire and the limited visibility, it was very difficult to determine where the active fire was and very difficult for firefighters to engage in this dangerous and dynamic environment. Crews had little opportunity to perform active protection of the structure due to the extreme behavior of the fire. Today, crews will focus on protecting homes to the northwest between Highway 518 and the edge of the fire, as well as preventing the fire from moving south into the critical area of ​​the watershed. Spotting up to half a mile is expected. The fire is expected to cross 518 and burn across the grasslands at high speed as the wind is a driving factor. Due to the merging of the two fires, containment could not be calculated accurately.

Evacuations: The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office and the Mora County Sheriff’s Office have worked together to keep people safe and have issued “GO” mandatory evacuations, and many communities remain in “SET” status and ” READY”. Evacuation status and road closures continue to be assessed and are performed using Ready, Set, Go! system. Updates will be posted on the San Miguel County and Mora County Sheriff’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/smcso.nm.

Weather: There is a red flag warning today with winds predominantly westerly then turning north-northwest throughout the day with speeds of 20-25 mph and gusts above 40 mph. Southwest-westerly winds will increase sharply to 20-30 mph with westerly gusts to over 40 mph at noon into the afternoon. Widespread gusts of wind will persist throughout the day.

Restrictions: The Santa Fe National Forest issued a closure order and implemented Phase II fire restrictions to protect public health and safety during fire operations at the Calf Canyon Fire. The complete shutdown order and map are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/santafe/home. The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in place over the area has been extended to include the Gallinas Canyon area. The TFR also covers unmanned aircraft, or drones. For more information on the dangers drones pose to wildfire-fighting aircraft and ground personnel, go to: www.nifc.gov/drones.

Smoke: Fire activity around Rociada, Pendaries and Sapello will cause unhealthy air quality conditions in the region. Westerly winds will at times produce periods of unhealthy to sensible air quality in the Las Vegas area. Moderate conditions expected throughout the day in the Las Vegas area. Periods of blowing dust and smoke will reduce visibility along portions of NM-518. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ lets you zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.

Information on future fires: The hours of operation of the Calf Canyon Fire and Hermit Peak Fire Information Office are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The telephone number for fire information is 505-356-2636. The email address is [email protected] Future fire information will continue to be published on Inciweb, the Facebook SFNF and TwitterSFNF website and New Mexico Fire Information website.


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