Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires activity is down — grew to 301,971 acres
Overnight the largest fire in New Mexico in recorded history grew to 301,971 acres, burning through a relatively small area since yesterday. Thunderstorms allowed for excellent recovery, but produced no measurable precipitation over the uncontained portions of the South Zone.
Containment reached 34% with 1958 personnel involved in operations.
Fire activity is expected to slow in the early morning due to relatively robust humidity recovery to 40%. The winds should diminish over most of the fire area after sunset, but the extremely dry fuels combined with easterly gap winds will produce westerly / down-canyon growth on the western flank overnight. Down-canyon wind-driven runs possible, particularly to the west of Barillas Peak, vicinity of Brazel Park, and west of Spring Mountain.
Central zone fire will continue to move west northwest on the south side of SR 518. In the Chacon Corridor fire will back down the slope towards SR 121. The northeast tip will continue to burn in an old aspen stand. Fire on the eastside will stay west of SR 434.
Weather forecast for Wednesday and Thursday:
Today partly cloudy in the morning with a cold front pushing south across the eastern plains. Becoming mostly cloudy with scattered dry/wet thunderstorms developing after 12:00. Maximum sustained winds will be west southwest at 12-18 mph with gusts to 27 mph across the higher exposed areas, east-northeast 7-11 mph through 09:00, becoming SSE 12-15 mph with gusts to 20 mph for the valleys and sheltered areas. High temperatures will be in the upper 60s and 70s. Minimum relative humidity values will be in the 10-15 percent range.
Critical fire weather conditions return as strong west winds develop alongside hot and dry conditions. Maximum sustained winds will be west at 18-22 mph with gusts to 35 mph. High temperatures will be in the 70s to around 80F. Minimum relative humidity values will be in the 5 to 10 percent range.