Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires – Daily Update for Friday, May 13, 2022
Total personnel: 1,832
Start date: Hermits Peak: April 6, 2022; Calf Canyon: April 19, 2022
Cause: Hermits Peak: spots fires from prescribed burn; Calf Canyon: under investigation
Location: Located near Gallinas Canyon
Fuels: Heavy mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, brush and grass
highlights: Due to this fire’s increasing size and complexity, beginning Sunday management will be split into a North and South Zone. The Type 1 Southwest Incident Management Team 1 (SWIMT 1) is returning and will take management of the North Zone. SWIMT 3, currently working with SWIMT 2, will manage the South Zone. SWIMT 2 will transition out after Saturday. An additional Type 1 team from California will begin working further north on a bigger-picture strategy for controlling this fire. These changes will not affect communication to the public; expect to find your information in the same places. The weather is slightly improved with a Fire Weather Watch rather than a Red Flag Warning. However, the relative humidity is critically low, causing continued active fire behavior. Expect to see large smoke columns today. Aircraft flew yesterday and will be up again today as visibility allows. Residents of San Miguel, Mora, Taos, and Colfax counties should remain on high alert for changes to evacuation statuses and road closures.
Operations: Fire is pushing toward Angostura, and structure protection crews are working to prepare homes and values in the area. Yesterday west winds near Chacon allowed firefighters to build more fireline around the community. The fire is following the timber fuel and could push across Highway 121 north of Chacon today. Local firefighting resources in Colfax County are coordinating with fire leadership, and structure protection crews are in Highway 518, 121, 434, and 442 corridors up to and around Black Lake. Firefighters, heavy equipment, and helicopters continue to fight spot fires across 434. Fire could end up near Coyote State Park today. The east side from Ledoux to Las Vegas is in patrol status. On the south, near Mineral Hills and San Geronimo, crews have been able to secure the lines and are monitoring and patrolling. Some resources have been moved from this area to other parts of the fire. Yesterday the fire crossed a piece of fireline in the southwest area around Barillas Peak. Large Air Tankers put down retardant to help the firefighters on the ground get a line around it, but night crews had to reevaluate strategy when the diurnal winds shifted. They will continue working on it today. People in Pecos can expect to see more activity at night due to the terrain and night breezes. There has been more activity around Elk Mountain to Gascon as the fire is trying to push upslope into the wind. Crews have been working hard in this area, protecting structures, conducting defensive firing operations, and securing the fire’s edge. The fire is still moving into the Pecos Wilderness towards Lone Pine Mesa, Blue Bell Ridge, and further north near Enchantment Lake.
evacuations: For an interactive map collection, including the evacuation map, scan the QR code at the top of the page or go to https://tinyurl.com/HermitsPeak. Follow Taos County (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064642843163), San Miguel County (www.facebook.com/smcso.nm), and Mora County (www.facebook.com/moracountysheriffoffice) Sheriff’s Office Facebook pages for the latest updates.
Weather: On the southern end, southwest winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30. In the Mora River Valley, north to northwest winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25. Maximum temperatures upper 60’s to upper 70’s. Minimum relative humidity 3 to 11%.
Restrictions: A new Carson National Forest closure order includes the entire Camino Real Ranger District. Forest-wide Stage 2 fire restrictions have been implemented. Full closure order and map: www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/carson/alerts-notices
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: 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.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 [email protected] Official fire information is posted on Inciweb (inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8069/) the SFNF Facebook and TwitterSFNF website, and New Mexico Fire Information website.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism