Cooks Peak Fire Morning Update (4/22/2022)

Strong winds cause extreme weather behavior

Type 2 Incident Management Team taking command of Cooks Peak Fire

Morning Update 4/22/2022

Acres: 28,217 acres – Infrared Flight last night
Location: North of Ocate. NM, approximately 46 miles north of Las Vegas, NM
Containment: 0%
Start Date: Sunday, April 17, 2022
Cause: Unknown, under investigation
Fuels: ponderosa pine, oak brush and grass

Evacuations:  As of 8:00 am, April 22, 2022, the Mora and Colfax Counties have announced updated evacuation status for the following communities: Colfax CountyGO– Sweetwater, Rayado, and Sunnyside – evacuate now!  SET –Miami, Philmont Scout Ranch to the headquarters, and Cimarron.  Residents in Colfax County should sign up now for Code Red. This system notifies residents of evacuation status. For notifications, sign up on the Colfax County website: 

Mora County – GO:  east of County Road 009 and north of NM Highway 120.  Ready:  west of County Road 009 and north of Highway 120.  These changes have occurred because of fire movement overnight and the predicted weather and extreme fire behavior expected today. Residents can evacuate livestock to the Colfax County Fairgrounds.  Memorial Middle School in Las Vegas, Wagon Mound Public Schools, and Mora Schools are available for evacuees. The Mora and Colfax County Sheriff’s Offices are using the Ready! Set! Go! program for evacuation status that provides information on evacuation and evacuation preparation: Ready!: Be Ready! for potential evacuations. Set!: Be Set! to evacuate at a moment’s notice Go!: Evacuate now. Leave immediately. The Cooks Peak Fire is moving rapidly being driven by high winds.  Evacuation status can change rapidly, and there may not be sufficient time to prepare to evacuate.

Overview: The Southwest Incident Management Team 5, Incident Commander Mark Bernal, took command of the Cooks Peak Fire at 6am on Friday, April 22, 2022.

Fire Update: Extreme fire behavior with spotting and group tree torching was observed on the Cooks Peak Fire Thursday, and winds are expected to increase Friday, allowing the fire to grow rapidly in multiple directions.  Air tankers and helicopters are available and were used to support firefighting efforts on the ground Thursday, but winds may hamper their ability to fly on Friday.  Additional firefighters and equipment are being ordered.

Weather: A Red Flag Warning has been issued from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Today will be a critical fire weather day, with high winds. Winds are expected to reach gusts of up to 65 mph, and be erratic, causing concerns for firefighter and public safety. 

Highway Closures: The Cooks Peak Fire has closed County Road 009 and a portion of NM120, from milepost 14-26, and at the junction of highway 442 and 120. Motorists are advised to delay travel or to seek alternate routes.  Visit for additional information.

Smoke: Smoke from the Cooks Peak Fire will continue to impact the surrounding communities, including Ocate, Rayado, Philmont Scout Ranch headquarters, Cimarron, and surrounding communities in Mora and Colfax counties.  Exercise caution as smoke may impact I-25 as winds increase.  An interactive smoke map can be found at allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.

More Information:


New Mexico Fire information:

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