Cooks Peak Daily Update – 5/2/2022

Red Flag Warning Again Today

Update 5/02/2022

Acres: 59,065 acres 
Location: North of Ocate NM, approximately 46 miles north of Las Vegas, NM
Containment: 69%
Start Date: Sunday, April 17, 2022
Cause: Human, under investigation
Fuels: ponderosa pine, oak brush and grass

Fire Update: Yesterday, Firefighters, again, contended with Red Flag conditions due to high winds and low humidity. Areas of heat persisted on the southwest slope of Gallinas Mesa and on the northwest side of the fire in heavy timber and rugged terrain. Heat also persisted south of Sweetwater where aerial ignitions were conducted on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Crews held and secured lines in these areas, and continued mop-up and fire suppression where needed.
Today, Red Flag warnings have, once again, been issued due to high winds and very dry air. These warnings alert fire managers that conditions favoring dangerous fire behavior and wildfire growth are predicted. Due to Red Flag warnings, the Cooks Peak fire still has potential for rapid growth. Firefighters will hold, reinforce, and secure lines where areas of heat continue to threaten containment. Helicopters will assist with water drops when conditions are safe to fly. Crews will continue to monitor and patrol secure fire lines, mopping up existing sources of smoke. Suppression repair will continue around the fire perimeter where needed.

Current Evacuations for Mora and Colfax Counties: There are no changes to the evacuation status due to the Cooks Peak Fire.

Colfax County Evacuation status for Areas in GO: Philmont Scout Ranch Back Country West of State Road 21 in Colfax County; Areas in SET status include Sweetwater, Rayado and Sunnyside; Areas in READY status include residents of Miami and the Philmont Scout Ranch Headquarters.

Mora County residents previously in the Cooks Peak Fire evacuation footprint may now be under Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak evacuation status. Mora county residents should refer to the Mora County sheriff and Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak Fire Information for the most current evacuation status.

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.

An Evacuation center is set up at Old Memorial Middle School, 947 Old National Rd, Las Vegas. The Colfax County Fairgrounds have been closed.

Livestock: The Taos Rodeo Grounds is available to residents from Mora if they need a place for horses. Contact: Livestock Inspector Ruben Baca 505-770-1490.

Weather: Red Flag conditions will occur again today with 25-35 mph sustained winds coming from the west to northwest, gusting to 45mph. Temperatures will be in the 60’s and relative humidity in the teens over the fire area. A fire weather watch has been issued for Tuesday. Conditions will be warmer, drier and windy.

Highway Closures: New Mexico Highway 120 remains closed from mile marker 26 to 3 miles west of Ocate due to fire activity and equipment entering the area to support firefighting efforts. Motorists are advised to delay travel or to seek alternate routes. State Road 21 from Polo Ranch to Cimarron is open to local traffic only, and remains closed to through traffic. Visit for additional information.

Smoke: Minimal smoke impacts are expected today due to the direction of winds. This will provide good air quality in Cimarron, Miami, and Springer. Air quality in Wagon Mound will be moderate due to smoke from fires in the region. As wind direction shifts toward the south and southwest late in the day and Tuesday, moderate air quality due to smoke is expected. 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.

Aviation Restrictions: There is a Temporary Flight Restriction over the Cooks Peak Fire. Firefighting aircraft cannot fly if this restriction is violated by any aircraft including drones. This leaves firefighters on the ground without aerial support.

Fire Restrictions: The New Mexico State Forester has implemented statewide fire restrictions. Smoking, fireworks, campfires open burning and open fires are prohibited. For more information see 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 for details. 

More Information:
New Mexico Fire information:
Smoke Outlook:
Colfax County: 

Cooks Peak Fire Daily Map for 5/2/2022

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