Black Fire on track to become the largest wildfire in New Mexico

Black Fire on track to become the largest wildfire in New Mexico

Two weeks ago Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fire grew to 300,000 acres, becoming the largest wildfire in New Mexico records. But it seems, this "achievement" not going to last for a long time. Over the weekend the Black Fire in the southwestern part of the state grew from 191,000 acres to 235,000 acres.

The speed of spread is significantly higher than in the case of Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak, which is still active, but 50% contained, and spreading by about a thousand acres per day (314,750 acres as of this moment).

Based on rate of spread, the Black Fire could overcome the Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak Fire by the end of this week, affecting about 325,000 acres.

At this moment containment of the Black Fire still under 20%. A fire weather watch is in effect for Monday as critical fire weather conditions will continue, with strong southwest winds along and single digit relative humidity values once again. High temperatures will be a little cooler on Monday, topping out in the low 80s.

Crews will continue patrolling and mopping up, constructing direct and indirect control lines, prepping new line where needed, and using point protection tactics to protect private property, critical infrastructure and other values at risk. Slash chipping will continue. Hand and aerial ignitions will be used where needed to strengthen protection of values at risk and burn out fuels between constructed firelines and the main fire. Structure triage assessments and identification of values at risk will continue. Nighttime UAS may be utilized along with hand ignitions.

Last week officials announced that a pile burn caused Calf Canyon Fire.

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