Cooks Peak Fire Morning Update – 4/24/2022

Wind gradually subsiding as additional firefighting resources arrive on scene  

Active fire behavior will continue 

Morning Update 4/24/2022 

Acres: 51,982 acres (Infraed 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 

After days of gusty, erratic winds, the Cooks Peak Fire will begin to experience reduced winds with a weak cold front moving into New Mexico from the west. The Cooks Peak Fire will continue to be active, driven by topography and drought stressed trees, brush and grass.  A temporary flight restriction (TFR) has been put in place over the fire area. 

Current Evacuations for Mora and Colfax Counties:  Colfax CountyGO– Miami, Sweetwater, Rayado, Philmont Scout Ranch and Sunnyside – evacuate now! SET – Cimarron. Ready: Angel Fire. 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: http://www.co.colfax.nm.us/government/emergency_management.php   
Mora County – GO:  Los LeFebres and Los Huerros, residents east of County Road 009 and north of NM Highway 120. Ready:  Lucero and Los Cocas, residents west of County Road 009 and north of Highway 120.  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.  

Evacuation centers are set up at Old Memorial Middle School, 947 Old National Rd, Las Vegas; Colfax County Fairgrounds, 16 Airport Road, Springer; and the Raton Convention Center, 901 S. 3rd St, Raton.   

Livestock: Residents can evacuate livestock to the Colfax County Fairgrounds. If residents from Mora need a place for horses, the Taos Rodeo Grounds is available.  Contact: Livestock Inspector Ruben Baca 505-770-1490.   

Fire Update: Firefighters continued to observe active fire behavior across the Cooks Peak Fire on Saturday. Crews worked to protect structures and communities all around the fire during the day and overnight. Firefighters monitored fire behavior, assessed values at risk, and continued work along dozer lines to assist in holding the fire line.  

Today, firefighters will continue to construct hand and dozer line to protect communities and contain the fire. Helicopters and air tankers should be available to support firefighters on the ground with lighter winds. There is the potential for active fire behavior where topography and drought stressed fuels align.  Structural assessments are still underway, and crews will continue to document observations and identify any structures impacted by the fire. 

Weather: Fire weather conditions began to moderate Saturday night as winds decrease, and humidity increased overnight. Sunday will be cool and dry with lighter winds. This evening, a cold front will pass over northern New Mexico and across the fire area, with a chance for scattered high elevation snow and low elevation rain over the fire late night through early Monday. While increased moisture will help overnight recoveries, no meaningful, wetting precipitation is expected.  

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 https://nmroads.com/mapIndex.html for additional information. 

Smoke: Smoke from the Cooks Peak and other fires in the area are reducing visibility along I-25 from Springer to Wagon Mound which will continue through Sunday night.  Smoke from area fires will be moderate range for the communities Springer, Wagon Mound, and Cimarron and the Philmont Ranch.  Smoke will be in the unhealthy range for the town of Miami. An interactive smoke map can be found at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allowing you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions. 

More Information: 

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8066/ 

New Mexico Fire information: https://nmfireinfo.com/ 

Smoke Outlook: https://outlooks.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlook/b335b9f4 

Phone Line: 505-357-0683; Hours: 8 am – 8 pm 

Media Phone Line: 505-445-8278 

Email: 2022.cookspeak@firenet.gov 

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