Saturday, May 14, 2022
WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: Firefighters expect a repeat of yesterday’s weather today, with moderate terrain influenced winds and near record heat this weekend. Single-digit relative humidity values are expected, and extremely dry and receptive fuels will again lead to very high probability of ignition. Significant fire growth is unlikely since afternoon breezes will probably not be strong enough to blow embers from torching trees very far over containment lines. Yesterday the fire stayed for the most part within its footprint, held in check by containment lines and close to a thousand firefighters who are holding, monitoring, and patrolling containment lines night and day. Although it appears that firefighters have the upper hand, the Cerro Pelado Fire is certainly not done yet, and our plan is to stay focused and diligent.
TODAY’S OPERATIONS: Interior fire activity increased slightly yesterday in the Peralta Ridge and Paliza Canyon areas. Crews continue to monitor pockets of active fire burning in steep terrain threatened by hazard trees near the communications towers on Los Griegos Mountain, and will continue looking for opportunities to safely engage the fire directly. Helicopters and fixed winged scooper planes will continue to support crews on the ground, shuttling loads of water to cool hot spots and reinforce containment lines. No structures in the area are at risk, and crews continue to patrol burned areas near them, using water to extinguish any pockets of heat that they find. Crews with chainsaws and heavy equipment will continue to improve fire line along Highway 4 by performing fuel reduction.
Crews performed tactical burning operations in Spruce Canyon and Pine Canyon at night when fire burns less intensely, to strengthen and clean up containment lines along Forest Road (FR) 289 in the northwest corner of the fire. Firefighters are successfully holding the fire that had become established in Alamo Canyon on its east rim, utilizing FR 287, the old Dome Lookout Road, as a containment line. A hotshot crew is working in the bottom of the canyon, keeping the fire from working down to the southeast.. In the east perimeter, several hand and engine crews are in the area again today, patrolling and monitoring the containment lines, and using water to extinguish areas of heat found near the fire edge to hold the fire at Obsidian Ridge.
The east flank of the fire on Cochiti Mesa has not progressed much due to rocky terrain with sparse fuels and is producing little smoke. A hand crew was able to make the long hike up into Peralta Canyon, north of Cochiti Pueblo, where they’ve made good progress in the past two days containing the fire burning in the canyon bottom. Other crews are assigned to the remote fire edge on the south perimeter, directly engaging the fire. Firefighters are removing ground fuels at the fire’s edge by digging hand line and thoroughly checking stretches of inactive fire line for any lingering heat. On the western side of the fire, hotshot crews successfully performed tactical burning operations early yesterday morning to bring low-intensity fire down to reinforced control lines along FR 266 in the Hondo Canyon and Bear Springs areas. Hand and engine crews will continue to secure, strengthen, and patrol the western control line, working further inward from the fire edge using hand tools and water to mop up areas of heat.
- Highway 4 closed from mile marker 34 to mile marker 50. The most updated road closure information can be found 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 representatives, community leaders, private cooperators, and Los Alamos National Laboratory staff to coordinate firefighting resources, protect structures, and keep community members safe.
Air Quality: Information on air quality is at 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 Restrictions Stage II Fire restrictions are in effect for the Santa Fe National Forest, which prohibits all campfires and other hazardous activities. Due to ongoing fire threats, Sandoval County will not issue burn permits. Stage III Fire Restrictions are in effect for Cochiti Pueblo.
Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR). There is a flight restriction over the fire area and drones are also prohibited. https://bit.ly/Flight-Restrictions
Information Phone Lines: 505-312-4593 & 303-918-4004