Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires

May 7, 2022, Daily Update, 09:00AM

Acres:  170,665 acres – Containment: 21% – Total personnel:  1,422 Start Date:  Hermits Peak: April 6, 2022; Calf Canyon: April 19, 2022 Cause: Hermits Peak: spot fires from prescribed burn; Calf Canyon: under investigation Location: Located near Gallinas Canyon – Fuels: Heavy mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, brush, and grass

Highlights: A Red Flag Warning has been issued for today, kicking off a historic multi-day wind event that could result in extreme fire behavior. Conditions could change quickly, so remain vigilant in staying updated on evacuations and emergency notifications. A significant concern for firefighters is that new fire starts during this period could redirect resources from their current tasks. Please take extreme care to prevent new fires from starting. In the last few days, firefighters have worked tirelessly to add and strengthen control lines, construct more contingency lines, and prepare structures; however, fire remains on the landscape and could be a threat in some areas. There have been reports of structure protection equipment being stolen from the fireline. This equipment is critical to the ongoing firefight. While there is a strong law enforcement presence, please report anything suspicious. 

Operations: Conditions will make for extreme fire conditions, and firefighter and public safety is always the top priority. A large structure protection group has been working up the Gallinas corridor to secure the area further and implement protection measures around homes and other values. In the Montezuma area, firefighters were able to fight the fire directly, meaning doing things like wetting, smothering, or physically separating the burning from unburned fuel. Some of the mutual aid engine crews were able to help with this. The area west of Las Vegas has some interior pockets of fuels continuing to burn out. Firefighters continue to cool hot spots around the fire’s edge. Crews have been engaged heavily in the Mineral Hills area as the fire remains active. Ground crews will continue to work to keep fire out of the values but will likely lose air support as the winds pick up. Fire in the wilderness continues to move slowly towards the Crest Trail and isn’t a threat at this time. Near Rociada and Upper Rociada, the fire has remained active. Firelines have been put in place to slow it down, and helicopters have been dropping water as the weather has allowed. Additional firefighters were added to this area, including a hand crew and a dozer. A heavy emphasis has been placed on the north end ahead of the anticipated winds. Three structure protection groups have continued work in the communities there. They’ve been setting up hose lays and sprinkler systems, clearing away vegetation, and creating firelines around homes and buildings. More dozer line has also been constructed to protect homes. Around Ledoux, the fire has shown minimal heat, except for areas further interior. Crews remain in the vicinity of Sapello, Las Tusas, and the surrounding areas to monitor and mitigate any issues.

Evacuations: Scan the QR code here for the latest evacuation map or visit the ArcGIS Map. The San Miguel and Mora County Sheriffs ask that all residents within the fire area remain on high alert for changes to evacuation statuses and road closures. It is imperative to respect closures and follow evacuation orders. Please follow San Miguel County and Mora County Sheriff’s Facebook pages for the latest updates at https://www.facebook.com/smcso.nm and https://www.facebook.com/moracountysheriffoffice.

Weather: West to southwest winds of 10 to 15 mph in the morning will increase to 30 to 35 mph in the afternoon. Wind gusts will be around 50 mph. Maximum temperatures will be in the lower 70’s to mid-80’s. Minimum relative humidity values will be 4 to 9%.

Restrictions: The Santa Fe National Forest has expanded the closure order due to the fire to include the entire Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District and has implemented forest-wide Stage 2 fire restrictions. Full closure order and map are available at www.fs.usda.gov/detail/santafe/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprd3802009.

Smoke: 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 Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires 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.hermitspeak@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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