Critical fire weather returns Sunday
|Hectares: 59,063 acres Containment: 69%
Location: North of Ocate NM, approximately 46 miles north of Las Vegas, NM
|Start date: Sunday, April 17, 2022
Cause: Human, under investigation
Fuels: ponderosa pine, oak brush and grass
Current Evacuations for Mora and Colfax Counties: There is no change in evacuation status. areas in WE GO: Philmont Scout Ranch Back Country West of State Road 21 in Colfax County; In Mora County, Los LeFebres, Los Huerros, and residents east of County Road 009 and north of NM Highway 120. Areas in PLACE state include Sweetwater, Rayado, Sunnyside and Los Cocas. Miami residents and the Philmont Scout Ranch headquarters are in CLEVER condition.
Mora and Colfax County Sheriff’s Offices are using the Ready! Place! Go! evacuation status program that provides information on evacuation and evacuation preparedness.
an evacuation center it is established at Old Memorial Middle School, 947 Old National Rd, Las Vegas. The Colfax County Fairgrounds have been closed.
Won: Taos Rodeo Grounds is available to Mora residents if they need a place for the horses. Contact: Livestock Inspector Rubén Baca 505-770-1490.
public meeting: The last few nights at Cimarron High School were record breaking and will be available on the Cooks Peak Fire Information Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CooksPeakFireInfo/.
Fire update: Firing operations were conducted on the east flank of the Cooks Peak fire yesterday to secure an additional line of fire. Aerial firings were used to remove the pocket of unburned fuel in Agueje Canyon and to strengthen containment lines south of Sweetwater. Aviation resources also assisted with water drops to aid fire suppression efforts in the steep, heavily wooded terrain and challenging topography of the north end of the fire near Urraca Mesa. Suppression cleanup and repair work, including returning bulldozer lines to a more natural state, building water rods where needed, and repairing fences, were carried out in areas where bulldozer lines have been secured. fire and fire is no longer a threat.
Drones were seen yesterday morning on the southeast side of the fire, causing all aerial resources to be grounded. To visit https://www.facebook.com/CooksPeakFireInfo/videos/291847116497757 for additional information. Please remember “if you fly, we can’t”.
Today, there is a high potential for increased fire activity on the Cooks Peak Fire. Art Gonzales, a fire behavior analyst, says, “Fuels stressed by drought and low humidity create conditions for increased fire behavior.” Those conditions, coupled with Red Flag weather conditions, with sustained winds of 25 to 30 mph and gusts of 45 to 50 mph, combined with large fires to the south and expected storm outflow winds create unique suppression challenges for crews. Cooks Peak Fire Station. Due to high winds, limited air suppression will occur in the morning and flights will be suspended in the afternoon for the safety of the crews.
Firefighters are working to complete and secure 109 miles of fire line. Today, they will patrol containment lines and work to contain the Cooks Peak Fire within the current footprint while protecting structures, property and natural resources. Fire crews are securing the southwest side of Gallinas Mesa and expect to need additional firing operations as weather conditions allow in the next few days to reinforce containment lines. This area is visible from Ocate and Ojo Feliz. Suppression emphasis will be on active fire areas on the west and northwest perimeter with hand tools, bulldozer lines, and air support when possible. Crews continue to build and strengthen containment and clean up where needed.
Weather: On Sunday, the winds will drop slightly and temperatures will rise a few degrees higher than Saturday. Relative humidity will remain unusually dry. On Monday, another critical fire weather day with strong gusty winds and low relative humidity is possible.
Road closures: New Mexico Highway 120 remains closed from milepost 26 to 3 miles west of Ocate due to fire activity and equipment entering the area to support firefighting efforts. Motorists are advised to delay travel or seek alternate routes. State Road 21 from Polo Ranch to Cimarron is open to local traffic only and remains closed to through traffic. To visit https://nmroads.com/mapIndex.html for additional information.
Smoke: Moderate smoke is expected today during the morning with winds from the south-southwest. Smoke from fires in the west will produce periods of unhealthy conditions for sensitive groups (USG) in Miami from this afternoon into the afternoon. Cimarron will see good air quality changing to moderate in the late afternoon, heading into the evening with smoke from the fires to the west. Residents are encouraged to stay informed of potential changes by visiting the interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/which allows you to zoom in on your area to see the latest smoke conditions.
Aviation restrictions: There is a temporary flight restriction on the Cooks Peak Fire. Firefighting aircraft fly at very low altitudes, typically only about 200 feet above the ground. This creates the possibility of a mid-air collision. Any aircraft entering the fire area, including drones, could ground all firefighting aircraft until they have left the fire area. Stay out of the airspace over the Cooks Peak Fire.
Fire Restrictions: Fire restrictions are being implemented to help reduce the chance of a wildfire. The New Mexico State Ranger has implemented fire restrictions throughout the state. Smoking, fireworks, campfires and outdoor campfires are prohibited. For more information, see https://www.emnrd.nm.gov/sfd/forestry-news/ The Farmington District Bureau of Land Management has also implemented fire restrictions. Fireworks, campfires, smoking, and operating machinery, including off-road OHV use, are restricted. To visit https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/new-mexico/fire-restrictions for details.
Telephone: 505-357-0683; Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
media phone line: 505-445-8278
New Mexico Fire Information: https://nmfireinfo.com/
smoke perspective: https://outlooks.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlook/b335b9f4
Evacuations: Mora County Sheriff’s Office | Facebook