Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires -May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022, Daily Update, 09:00AM

Acres:  236,939 acres – Containment: 33% – Total personnel:  1,863 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: Red Flag Warnings continue today from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM, with strong winds, high temperatures, and single-digit relative humidity values. This results in extreme fire behavior and rapid growth. Large smoke clouds could be seen for around a hundred miles around the fire in all directions yesterday. Spot fires continue to be a concern as winds blow embers ahead of the fire into extremely receptive grass, brush, and trees. Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft were able to fly yesterday on the north and south to support firefighters on the ground. They will continue today as the wind allows. Resources are being moved strategically around the fire from areas with lessening activity to those that are very active. The Temporary Flight Restriction has been extended and applies to all drones and aircraft not working the fire. In areas with a downgraded evacuation status, please be careful of firefighters and utility workers as you go back to your homes. Residents of San Miguel, Mora, Taos, and Colfax counties should remain on high alert for changes to evacuation statuses and road closures. 

Operations: On the north side yesterday, the fire crossed another section of Highway 518 near Holman Hill and moved towards Chacon. Firefighters are engaged, and structure protection crews are working to protect homes and other values. The previous spot fire that established over Highway 518 Sunday made a big run, pushing up to between Chacon and Guadulapita. It’s predicted to be 1-2 miles from the Colfax County line by the end of the day. Structure protection continues in the highway corridors, and canyon communities and crews will work north as the fire progresses into newly impacted areas, including Taos and Colfax Counties. The east side from Ledoux to Las Vegas is in patrol status. Crews are beginning to remove sprinkler systems no longer needed and move them to other areas of the fire. From the east side, pockets of interior fuels may be seen burning out but pose no threat to the containment lines. The fire has been highly active on the south, but the visible smoke columns have been within the containment lines. Crews are tying additional dozer lines, roads, and trails together to keep the fire from moving further south, and the winds are causing the fire to push back into itself. On the southwest towards Pecos, firefighters are proactively working on getting in fireline, and structure protection measures have been implemented in Bull Canyon. Around Gascon and Rociada, crews are still putting in dozer and handline and keeping the fire away from structures. The fire continues to move into the Pecos Wilderness towards Lone Pine Mesa, Blue Bell Ridge, and further up near Enchantment Lake.

Evacuations: Scan the QR code or click this link (https://tinyurl.com/HermitsPeak) for a story map website that has the latest evacuation map, fire perimeter, daily progression map, and closures. Please follow San Miguel County (www.facebook.com/smcso.nm), Mora County (www.facebook.com/moracountysheriffoffice), and Taos County (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064642843163) Sheriff’s Facebook pages for the latest updates.

Weather: On the southern end, winds will be south to southwest 28 to 32 mph with gusts to 50. In the Mora River Valley, winds will be south to southwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 35. Maximum temperatures will be in the upper 60’s to low 80’s. Minimum relative humidity values will be 10 to 19%.

Restrictions: The Santa Fe National Forest closure order includes the entire Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District. Forest-wide Stage 2 fire restrictions have been implemented. 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. Fire information is posted on Inciweb, the SFNF Facebook and Twitter, SFNF website, and New Mexico Fire Information website.

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