Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires combine
April 23, 2022, Daily Update, 10:00AM
Acres: 42,341 acresStart Date: April 19, 2022Cause: Under investigationTotal personnel: 419Location: Located near Gallinas CanyonFuels: Mixed coniferHighlights: Structure loss has occurred due to the extreme weather experienced yesterday that caused uncontrolled fire line that impacted communities. Firefighters and law enforcement are gaining access to the areas that are safe to do so. Damage assessments will be ongoing and when the information is gathered, residents will be contacted by the county.For safety reasons, power has been proactively shut off in Pendaries, County Road A-3A, Rociada, Manelitas and Canoncito. There are several road closures, including Highway 518 from Sapello north to Buena Vista. The safety of firefighters and the public remains the number one priority. Operations: The focus Friday was on life safety for the public during evacuations and firefighters trying to engage as safely as they were able. Fire managers coordinated with both County Sheriff’s Offices for timely notices of evacuations throughout the day. With the rapid rate of spread of the fire and limited visibility, it was very challenging to determine where the active fire was at and very difficult for firefighters to engage in this dangerous, dynamic environment. There was limited opportunity for the crews to do active structure protection due to extreme fire behavior. Today the crews will be focusing on protecting homes to the northwest between Highway 518 and the fire’s edge, as well as preventing the fire from moving south into the critical watershed area. Spotting up to a half a mile is anticipated. The fire is expected to cross 518 and burn across the grasslands at a high rate of speed as the wind is a driving factor. Due to the merging of the two fires, containment has not been able to be accurately calculated. Evacuations: The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office and Mora County Sheriff’s Office have been working together to keep people safe and have issued mandatory “GO” evacuations, and many communities remain in “SET” and “READY” status. The evacuation status and road closures continue to be assessed and are made using the Ready, Set, Go! system. Updates will be posted on San Miguel County and Mora County Sheriff’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/smcso.nm.Weather: There is a Red Flag Warning today with mostly west winds, then turning north-northwest through the day with speeds of 20-25mph and gusts above 40mph.Southwest- West winds will sharply increase to 20-30 mph with gusts out of the west upwards of 40 mph by midday into the afternoon. Widespread wind gusts throughout the day. Restrictions: The Santa Fe National Forest has issued a closure order and has implemented Stage II fire restrictions to protect public health and safety during fire operations on the Calf Canyon Fire. Full closure order and map are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/santafe/home. Temporary flight restriction (TFR) in place over the area was expanded to include the Gallinas Canyon area. The TFR also covers unmanned aircraft, or drones. More information on the dangers drones pose to wildland firefighting aircraft and personnel on the ground can be found at: www.nifc.gov/drones.
Smoke: Fire activity around Rociada, Pendaries, and Sapello will cause unhealthy air quality conditions in the area. West winds will produce periods of Unhealthy to Sensitive Groups quality air in the Las Vegas area at times. Moderate conditions throughout the day expected in the Las Vegas area. Periods of blowing dust, smoke will reduce visibility along portions of NM-518.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 Calf Canyon Fire and Hermit Peak Fire Information office hours are 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM. The phone number for fire information is 505-356-2636. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Future fire information will continue to be posted on Inciweb, the SFNF Facebook and Twitter, SFNF website, and New Mexico Fire Information website.