Saturday May 14, 2022
WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: Firefighters are expecting a repeat of yesterday’s weather today, with moderate, terrain-affected winds and a record heat this weekend. Single digit relative humidity levels are expected and extremely dry and absorbent fuels, in turn, result in a very high probability of ignition. Significant fire growth is unlikely as afternoon breezes are unlikely to be strong enough to blow embers from burning trees very far beyond the safety lines. Yesterday the blaze stayed mostly within its footprint, contained by containment lines and nearly a thousand firefighters holding, monitoring and patrolling containment lines day and night. While it looks like the firefighters have the upper hand, the Cerro Pelado Fire is certainly not done yet and our plan is to stay focused and diligent.
CURRENT OPERATION: Indoor fire activity increased slightly yesterday in the Peralta Ridge and Paliza Canyon areas. Crews continue to monitor active fire sites burning in steep terrain threatened by dangerous trees near the communications towers on Mount Los Griegos and will continue to look for ways to safely fight the fire head-on. Fixed-wing helicopters and scooper aircraft will continue to support crews on the ground by transporting large volumes of water to cool hot spots and reinforce security lines. No buildings in the area are at risk, and crews continue to patrol burned areas near them, using water to extinguish any hot spots they find. Chainsaw and heavy equipment crews will continue to improve the line of fire along Highway 4 by reducing fuel.
Crews conducted tactical fire operations at Spruce Canyon and Pine Canyon at night, when the fire burns less intensely, to strengthen and clean containment lines along Forest Road (FR) 289 in the northwest corner of the fire. Firefighters successfully contained the fire established in Alamo Canyon at its eastern rim, using FR 287, the old Dome Lookout Road, as a line of containment. A hotshot crew works the bottom of the canyon, preventing the fire from acting to the southeast. Several hand and machine crews are again in the area on the eastern rim today, patrolling and monitoring the containment lines and using water to extinguish hot spots found near the fire’s edge to contain the fire at Obsidian Ridge.
The east flank of the fire at Cochiti Mesa has not progressed far due to the rocky terrain with scant fuel and producing little smoke. A hand crew was able to make the long hike into Peralta Canyon north of Cochiti Pueblo, where they have made good progress over the past two days to contain the fire burning in the canyon floor. Other crews are deployed to the remote fire ridge on the southern edge and engage the fire directly. Firefighters remove ground fuel at the edge of the fire by digging hand lines and thoroughly inspecting sections of inactive fire line for sustained heat. On the west side of the fire, hotshot crews successfully conducted early morning tactical fire operations to bring low-intensity fire to reinforced lines of control along FR 266 in the Hondo Canyon and Bear Springs areas. Manual and machine crews will continue to secure, reinforce and patrol the western line of control, working inwards from the burn line, using hand tools and water to eliminate hot spots.
- Highway 4 closed from mile marker 34 to mile marker 50. For the most up-to-date information on road closures, go here: https://bit.ly/NM-Roads
- The Santa Fe National Forest has closed the Cerro Pelado Fire Area (closure order) and Fire Base Camp along Forest Road 376 (closure order).
- Bandelier National Monument and Valles Caldera National Preserve remain closed until further notice.
The Great Basin IMT 1 continues to communicate with tribal officials, community leaders, private employees and Los Alamos National Laboratory staff to coordinate firefighting resources, protect structures and ensure the safety of community members.
air quality: Air quality information is available from the New Mexico Department of Health Environmental Public Health Tracking: https://nmtracking.org/fire and an interactive smoke map is available at https://fire.airnow.gov/.
fire safety restrictions The Santa Fe National Forest has Tier II fire restrictions that prohibit all campfires and other hazardous activities. Due to the ongoing fire hazard, Sandoval County will not be issuing incineration permits. Cochiti Pueblo has Tier III fire safety restrictions.
Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR). Flights are restricted over the fire area and drones are also prohibited. https://bit.ly/Flight-Restrictions
Information phone lines: 505-312-4593 & 303-918-4004
E-mail: 2022.CerroPelado@firenet.gov InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8075/ Facebook: https://facebook.com/2022.Cerropeladofire Twitter: https://twitter.com/SantafeNF