Cerro Pelado Fire Daily Update Sunday, May 15, 2022


Current Size: 45,602 Acres

Current Containment: 40%

Start Date: April 22, 2022

Cause: Unknown

Total personnel: 1,078

PUBLIC MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT: Monday, May 16, 2022, located at the Los Alamos High School at 5:30 pm.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: Firefighters expect moderate terrain-influenced winds and near record warmth today. Midday high temperatures at upper elevations on the fire could once again climb to around 80°F, and there will be a very high probability of ignition caused by single-digit relative humidity values and extremely dry fuels. A cold front moving over the fire area late tonight will bring a change in the weather. Relative humidity levels will climb to around 45% tonight. Winds are expected to shift from the southwest and slightly increase as gusty southwest winds and some clouds are expected over the fire area tomorrow. Significant fire growth is unlikely again today, and overall conditions for firefighting efforts are favorable.

FIRE OPERATIONS: Yesterday, a drone incursion over the fire caused air attack to order a complete shutdown of all air operations for the safety of aviation and ground crews. The shutdown was critical, significantly slowing the progress of work being performed to reduce hazards around the communication tower on Los Griegos Mountain in the northwest perimeter. The use of drones is prohibited per Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR). As containment increases on the Cerro Pelado Fire, fire managers have started to release equipment and crews to assist in fire suppression efforts in other priority areas in the region. Red lines on the fire map perimeter indicating active fireline are changed to black for contained line. As containment increases, crews are preparing for suppression repair and removing equipment in these areas. Suppression efforts continue in active fire areas. Interior fire activity remains a threat in the Peralta Ridge and Paliza Canyon areas. Today, helicopters and the two scooper planes will continue to support crews on the ground, providing eyes in the sky and shuttling loads of water to cool hot spots and reinforce containment lines. Where safe, crews are attempting to use direct tactics at the fire’s edge. Engine crews continue to patrol structures near burned areas, and fuel reduction continues along Highway 4. Fire activity is quiet on the eastern and southern flanks of the fire. Firefighters continue to improve and strengthen containment lines on the east side of Spruce Canyon. The containment line on the old Dome Lookout Road, Forest Road (FR) 287, is keeping fire away from Frijoles Canyon to the east. Hand and engine crews are in the area today, patrolling and monitoring the containment lines, and working inward from fire edge. In the Cochiti Mesa area, crews are patrolling where fire is hung up in rocky areas. Hand crews are hiking into the remote fire edge on the south side of the fire, patrolling and directly engaging the fire in Peralta Canyon, north of Cochiti Pueblo. On the western side of the fire, crews continue to secure and strengthen containment lines along FR 266, working further inward from the fire edge. Firefighters are backhauling equipment and chipping brush piles along FR 266 and in the Cochiti Mesa areas.


  • Highway 4 closed from mile marker 34 to mile marker 50: https://bit.ly/NM-Roads
  • The Santa Fe National Forest has closed the Cerro Pelado Fire Area (closure order) and Fire Base Camp along Forest Road 376 (closure order).
  • Bandelier National Monument and Valles Caldera National Preserve remain closed.

The Great Basin IMT 1 continues to communicate with tribal representatives, community leaders, private cooperators, and Los Alamos National Laboratory staff to coordinate firefighting resources, protect structures, and keep community members safe.

Air Quality: Information on air quality is at New Mexico Department of Health Environmental Public Health Tracking: https://nmtracking.org/fire , and an interactive smoke map is available at https://fire.airnow.gov/.

Fire Restrictions Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect for the Santa Fe National Forest, which prohibits all campfires and other hazardous activities. Due to ongoing fire threats, Sandoval County will not issue burn permits. Stage III Fire Restrictions are in effect for Cochiti Pueblo.

Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR). There is a flight restriction over the fire area and drones are also prohibited. https://bit.ly/Flight-Restrictions

Information Phone Lines: 505-312-4593 & 303-918-4004
Email: 2022.CerroPelado@firenet.gov
InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8075/
Facebook: https:/facebook.com/2022.Cerropeladofire
Twitter: https:/twitter.com/SantafeNF

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