Cooks Peak Fire Morning Update – 4/29/2022

Red Flag Conditions Indicate Critical Fire Weather Today
Morning Update 4/29/2022

Acres: 55,978 acres 
Location: North of Ocate NM, approximately 46 miles north of Las Vegas, NM
Containment: 54%
Start Date: Sunday, April 17, 2022
Cause: Human, under investigation
Fuels: ponderosa pine, oak brush and grass

Current Evacuations for Mora and Colfax Counties:  
Colfax County – GO– Sweetwater, Rayado, and Sunnyside – remain evacuated. SET – Philmont Scout Ranch and Miami. Ready: 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: 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. Set: Los Cocas

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. Link: https://www.emnrd.nm.gov/sfd/fire-prevention-programs/ready-set-go-new-mexico/

An Evacuation center is set 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.

Public Meeting: A community meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, April 30th at 6:00pm at the Cimarron High School located at 165 N Collison Ave, Cimarron, NM 87714. The meeting will also be live streamed to the Cooks Peak Fire Information Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CooksPeakFireInfo/.

Fire Update: 
Yesterday, the Cooks Peak Fire exhibited moderate fire behavior as Red Flag Warning conditions enabled fire spread in isolated pockets of heat. Progress continued on the ground utilizing a mixture of hand crews, heavy equipment, and aerial resources.

Today, strong winds and low humidity will create the potential for increased fire spread, spotting and torching in unburned fuels.
Other risks associated with the fire area include uprooted or snapped trees, downed power lines, and blowing ash and dust. These risks will hinder firefighting operations and create safety concerns for wildland fire crews by challenging firefighters’ efforts to hold established lines. Emphasis will be on patrolling constructed containment lines and protecting values at risk. Crews will continue to construct new fireline when and where it is safe to do so. Suppression repair work will continue along secured sections of line. Air crews will be grounded until the major winds have passed and it is safe to put them back in the air. Residents in Mora and Colfax County should remain vigilant and alert as wind will drive fire behavior today.

Weather: A Red Flag Warning and High Wind Warning is in effect for Friday. This will be a dangerous fire weather day with extreme fire weather conditions certain. Sustained west winds of 25-40 mph with gusts around 50 mph are expected. Gusts in some favorable wind locations could reach 60 mph, especially downwind of mountainous terrain and across ridgetops. While winds lessen into the weekend, fire weather will remain elevated.   

Highway Closures: New Mexico Highway 120 remains closed from mile marker 26 to 3 miles west of Ocate due to fire activity and equipment. NM 21 is closed from mile marker 1, south of Cimarron to mile marker 18 west of Miami. Motorists are advised to delay travel or to seek alternate routes. Visit https://nmroads.com/mapIndex.html for additional information.

Smoke: Overall good air quality conditions expected today in the area during the morning. Some lingering moderate smoke at times in the Miami area east to Springer late in the afternoon. Winds out of the west changing to west northwest in the afternoon. Smoke impacts from other fires will impact the local area. Wagon Mound will see moderate conditions at times today. Moderate smoke may affect I-25 from Wagon Mound to Springer with moderate smoke and blowing dust due to red flag winds. Residents are encouraged to stay informed of potential changes by visiting the interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/, which allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.

Fire Restrictions: New Mexico is in a drought. Even a small spark can start a wildfire. Fire restrictions are implemented to help reduce the chance of a wildfire. The New Mexico State Forester has implemented statewide fire restrictions. Smoking, fireworks, campfires open burning and open fires are prohibited. For more information see https://www.emnrd.nm.gov/sfd/forestry-news/ The Bureau of Land Management, Farmington District has also implemented fire restrictions. Fireworks, campfires, smoking and operating machinery, including off road OHV use are restricted. Visit https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/new-mexico/fire-restrictions for details.


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

Media Phone Line: 505-445-8278

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

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

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CooksPeakFireInfo/

Evacuations: https://www.facebook.com/moracountysheriffoffice/

Colfax County: http://www.co.colfax.nm.us/government/sheriff_s_department.php

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