Extreme weather and dangerous conditions on Calf Canyon Fire

April 22, 2022, Daily Update, 10:00AM

Acres: 3,000 acresStart Date:  April 19, 2022
Cause: Under investigation
Containment: 0%
Total personnel: 124
Location: Located near Gallinas Canyon
Fuels: Mixed conifer

Highlights:  The National Weather Service has issued an extreme weather warning. The public is encouraged to stay vigilant on evacuation status through the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office and be prepared to leave in a rapid manner. Due to extremely high winds, powerlines and trees may block egress in many areas. Roads will likely become congested with traffic leaving the area, and smoke will make it difficult to see. Use extreme caution on the roads. The new fire information line is 505-356-2636.

Operations:  Progress was made on the perimeter of the fire line, considering the conditions with the wind. Aircraft was able to support firefighters with multiple air tankers dropping an estimated 69,000 gallons of water on the fire Thursday. Helicopter usage was limited due to turbulent air. Air resources are not likely to fly on Friday due to the extreme wind. Crews were able to get two-thirds of the control line completed up to the ridge cap and were close to completing the perimeter. A section of the active fire perimeter broke out on the northwest side of the drainage and started to make a quick run through the area. Point protection and structure protection was ongoing in areas where it was safe to do so. Today, the safety of firefighters is paramount. Due to the extreme winds, there could be downed trees or powerlines and road blockages. Extreme dry, warm and windy conditions mean that any ember that lands in a source of fuel will ignite. Extreme fire behavior is expected with spotting potential to be in the ½ to ¾ mile range. Safety is always the number one priority.

Evacuations: The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office has issued mandatory “GO” evacuations as of 8:00 am Friday, April 22. Due to the severity of the conditions, everyone in the area should be prepared to evacuate. The evacuation status and road closures are currently being assessed by the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office, using the Ready, Set, Go! system. Stay tuned and alert for updated details on evacuation orders on the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/smcso.nm.

Weather: There is a High-End Red Flag Warning from 9:00 am to midnight with winds predicted in the 60-74 mph range. Temperatures will be in the upper 70s and very dry. The inversion is predicted to lift and give higher winds the ability to come straight down. Late morning gusts should peak in the afternoon but gusts of 50-60 mph are still possible up until midnight.

Restrictions: The Santa Fe National Forest has issued a closure order to protect public health and safety during fire operations on the Calf Canyon Fire. Full closure order and map are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/santafe/home. The Santa Fe National Forest implemented Stage II fire restrictions today at 8:00 am. The temporary flight restriction (TFR) in place over the area was expanded to include the Gallinas Canyon area. The TFR also covers unmanned aircraft, or drones. More information on the dangers drones pose to wildland firefighting aircraft and personnel on the ground can be found at: www.nifc.gov/drones

Smoke: Smoke impacts in the area will occur in the late evening hours due to wind changes from the west. High winds and blowing dust will cause reduced visibility on roads. Areas north of the fire will see smoke increasing later in the day. Moderate to Unhealthy to Sensitive Groups conditions will continue. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.

Future Fire Information: The Calf Canyon Fire Information office hours are 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM.  The phone number for fire information is 505-356-2636. The email address is 2022.calfcanyon@firenet.gov. Future fire information will continue to be posted on Inciweb, the SFNF Facebook and Twitter, SFNF website, and New Mexico Fire Information website.

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