Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires burned 189,767 acres — containment at 43%
Second largest wildfire in New Mexico continuing to spread with accelerated speed due to high winds in the area. At 09:00 AM fires burned over 189,767 acres over the period of 3 weeks. Despite the best efforts and thousands of personnel involved, the rare multi-day event has fueled very active fire behavior and movement. Wind speeds were sustained at 15 to 28 mph, with maximum gusts between 37 and 42 mph. The Las Vegas Airport reported a sustained wind of 40 mph and a gust to 59 mph.
While firefighters have been engaged around the clock in a battle against this wind-driven fire, they will disengage if their situation becomes too dangerous. However, they remain in communities around the fire to protect homes and values. As the fire moves, fire leadership continues to look further out for places to build contingency lines to slow the fire down and stop it.
Hold line South and West of Mora along the northern perimeter of the fire to reduce the potential of fire impacting Mora, Ledoux, Cleveland, South Carmen, Bueno Vista, Holman, Guadalupita and Guadalupita South. If we are unable to hold perimeter line in this area, engage in structure defense, and additional evacuations as dictated by fire environment.
Patrol the 518 road, engage in structure protection for Canoncita, San Ignacio, Sapello, Las Tusas and Manuelitas. Prevent further structure loss within the fire perimeter. Prepare structures between the 518 Road and the fires edge to the west for the potential of northward fire progression beginning Sunday.
Hold fire North of Highway 283, holding the Dozer line running from Storrie Lake to Bradner Reservoir and down to Highway 283.
Combined structure groups will continue to prep and prepare for structure defense in Ledoux, and prepare to engage in structure defense in Mora, Cleveland, South Carmen, Bueno Vista, Sapello, Las Tusas, Manuelitas, Emplazado, Gallinas, El Porvenir, Canovas Canyon, Big Pine, Rociada, Upper Rociada, Hot Springs, Holman and Mineral Hills. Efforts will be prioritized based on probability of success and proximity of VARs to threat.
Continue to coordinate with the local utility companies to allow for operation of critical infrastructure. Continue to coordinate with law enforcement agencies to account for public safety.
Fire activity is expected to remain active throughout the overnight period as red flag conditions are predicted to extend until 21:00 on Monday evening.
Very strong winds are expected. On the southern end, winds will be southwest to west 30 to 35 mph with gusts 50 to 55. In the Mora River Valley, winds will be west to northwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts 30 to 35. Maximum temperatures will be in the upper 60’s to low 80’s. Minimum relative humidity values will be 6 to 12%.
Fire activity is expected to remain extremely active overnight. Sustained surface fire runs, moderate-to-long range spotting, and group torching is expected to be consistent on the northern and southern perimeters.
Red flag conditions with strong sustained winds and very strong gusts (over 50 mph) will combine with the dry fuels, and single-digit humidity to allow for extreme fire behavior throughout the day and night. Wind driven runs with group torching and long-range spotting are expected on the northern extent with fire growing from Vallecito towards Holman along Hwy 518. Long-range spotting (potentially exceeding 1 mile) increase the likelihood of spot fires occurring northeast of the highway in the vicinity of Cañada de la Cueva, east of Holman.
If spot fires establish and grown, topographic alignment with the dominant winds could allow for extreme fire growth to the east/northeast. Further south, west/southwesterly winds are expected to push fire downslope in Falls Creek downslope to the east, towards I-25. The strong sustained winds are actually significantly slowing upslope westerly fire progression towards Pyramid Peak, Pacheco Lake, and Enchanted Lake on the western flank.