Cooks Peak Fire Morning Update – 4/26/2022

Firefighters continue to make progress with containment

Fire behavior will moderate today with arrival of snow, but remains active

Morning Update 4/26/2022

Acres: 54,021 acres
Location: North of Ocate NM, approximately 46 miles north of Las Vegas, NM
Containment: 18%
Start Date: Sunday, April 17, 2022
Cause: Unknown, under investigation
Fuels: ponderosa pine, oak brush and grass

Current Evacuations for Mora and Colfax Counties:  Colfax CountyGO– Sweetwater, Rayado, and Sunnyside – remain evacuated. SET – Philmont Scout Ranch and Miami. Ready: Cimarron and 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: 
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 center isset up at Old Memorial Middle School, 947 Old National Rd, Las Vegas; and Colfax County Fairgrounds, 16 Airport Road, Springer.

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: Rain and 1-4 inches of accumulated snow fell across the fire early Monday morning. This moisture decreased fire intensity allowing fire crews to build direct line directly at the fire’s edge. On the eastern side of the fire, firefighters also engaged in mop-up and cold trailing operations. This involves finding heat along the fires perimeter and cooling or extinguishing it. Fuel concentrations and rugged topography on the forested west side continued to smolder and burn. Hotshot hand crews worked in this area building hand line to stop advancement of the fire.

Although Monday’s moisture provided favorable conditions for fighting fire, winds and drying conditions are predicted for the next several days. As wind increases and fuels dry, fire behavior increases in intensity. So although the moisture brought some relief, drought stricken fuels and high winds will again challenge firefighters. Today crews will continue direct hand line construction along the west and northwest areas of the fire. These hotshot crews will camp out to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness. Engine crews working the eastern flank of the burned area will continue with mop-up and cold trailing along previously built dozer lines. If conditions allow, unburned fuels will be ignited south of Sweetwater and west of County Road 21 to strengthen containment lines where rugged topography presents challenges. Some suppression repair will begin northeast of Naranjos where the fire is contained.

On the ground tactics must vary with fuels and conditions. Every effort is being made to keep this fire footprint as small as possible. With yesterday’s moisture, “there is not a lot of heat established right now, it is a good day to go direct”, said Arthur Gonzalez, Fire Behavior Analyst with Southwest Incident Management Team 5.

Weather: South to southwest winds will increase today, with sustained speeds around 20 mph and gusts to 35 mph. Relative humidity will be lower than yesterday with temperatures slightly warmer. High temperature in the upper 50’s and lower 60’s are predicted.

Highway Closures: New Mexico Highway 120 is closed from Ocate to New Mexico Highway 434. NM 21 is closed between Springer and Cimarron. Motorists are advised to delay travel or to seek alternate routes. Visit for additional information.

Smoke: Good air quality conditions are expected today in the area. There may be some lingering moderate smoke north and east of the fire, especially around Miami. Winds out of the south-southwest 15-20. Winds will increase throughout the week. Residents are encouraged to stay informed of potential changes by visiting the interactive smoke map at, which allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.

More Information:


New Mexico Fire information:

Smoke Outlook:


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

Media Phone Line: 505-445-8278


Information on Calf Canyon Fire:

Phone: 505-356-2636, phone answered from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Daily Map of Cooks Peak Fire for April 26, 2022

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: