Efforts continue to battle three different fires in San Miguel and Mora counties, all of which have caused firefighters problems in recent days. While containment efforts have started to work on the Hermits Peak fire, the Cooks Peak and Calf Canyon fires continue to spread, forcing the reallocation of resources across the region.
Hermit Fire Peak
The Hermits Peak Fire has been stable at around 7,500 acres for several days now, and containment efforts are working well, as the fire is now 81% contained, according to the US Forest Service.
In a daily briefing Wednesday, the Forest Service said their containment lines held the fire for several days and they were confident they had it largely under control. Their resources have been primarily directed to the northwestern part of the fire, which is the only area that is not fully contained at the moment.
The blaze began more than two weeks ago, on April 6, when a Forest Service-controlled burn got out of control and began spreading rapidly thanks to strong winds and dry ground. It spread largely unchecked for several days before the wind died down and firefighters were able to put in place effective strategies.
There are still nearly 500 people deployed to the fire, working to contain it completely.
All mandatory evacuation orders have been rescinded for areas affected by the Hermits Peak fire, although area residents are warned to remain prepared to evacuate again if the fire unexpectedly spreads again.
Peak Fire Cooks
The Cooks Peak Fire, located in northern Mora County near Ocate, and southern Colfax County, continues to spread and now spans approximately 3,500 acres, with 0% containment, according to the Forest Service. The fire started on Easter Sunday, April 17.
High winds over the next few days are expected to continue to spread the fire as gusts of over 60mph are expected, making it impossible for crews to fight the blaze from the air.
CR009 in Mora County is under mandatory evacuation orders due to the fire, while the town of Ocate, Mora County is in the “Ready” evacuation stage, this which means residents should be prepared to evacuate as the fire continues to grow. The Colfax County communities of Sweet Water, Rayado, Sunny Side and Miami are also at the “Ready” stage.
Las Vegas Memorial Middle School, Wagon Mound Public Schools and Mora Schools are available for evacuees if needed.
More than 145 people are currently assigned to the fire, with more resources expected over the next few days as crews battle to bring the blaze under control.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation and is not known at this time.
Calf canyon fire
The Calf Canyon Fire began on Tuesday April 19 and is located near Gallinas Canyon, close to the Hermits Peak Fire.
It is currently around 300 acres and has yet to be mastered by crews. The Type 1 Emergency Response Team, Southwest Area Team 1, assigned to the Hermits Peak fire, took command of control of the Calf Canyon fire due to its proximity.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and is not known at this time.
Due to the new fire, evacuations have now been ordered for the Big Pine, Blue Bell Ridge and El Cielo Mountain areas.
Further information on the three fires will be provided as it becomes available. Check lasvegasoptic.com for the latest developments.