| Cerro Pelado Fire Daily Update Wednesday, May 18, 2022NM Fire Info


Current Size: 45,605 Acres

Current Containment: 74%

Start Date: April 22, 2022

Cause: Unknown

Total Personnel: 824

The Great Basin Team #1 would like to welcome a new incident management team to the fire. The Rocky Mountain #3 Team is orienting today and will take over command of the fire tomorrow morning.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: Similar to yesterday, today’s weather will be moderate with northwesterly and terrain driven winds that may gust in the afternoon to around 25 mph in exposed terrain. High temperatures over the fire area will be close to 80°F. Relative humidity levels will drop into the single digits in the afternoon, and the probability of ignition will be extremely high due to incredibly dry fuel conditions at all elevations. Any spark or wind-transported embers are very likely to ignite dry fuels which may result in a fire with high probability of resistance to containment. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for much of the region tomorrow from noon until 8:00 PM. Strong winds, low humidity, near record heat, and unstable atmospheric conditions will create potential for rapid fire growth. There are still isolated pockets of heat well within the fire perimeter where fire activity is generally limited to smoldering and creeping through ground fuels and occasional single tree torching; however, with the majority of the fire contained by direct fireline, minimal fire growth is expected again today.

FIRE OPERATIONS: The north side of the fire remains the most active where fire continues to slowly back down toward containment lines. Today hand crews are building containment line directly on the fire’s edge, near the communications towers on Los Griegos Mountain, reinforcing contingency lines along Forest Road (FR) 271. Engine and hand crews are constructing sections of direct containment line to hold the stubborn backing fire on the hill south of FR 280 in the upper Peralta Canyon Area.

Helicopters will continue to support crews on the ground as needed. Fire activity remains quiet across the rest of the fire, with very little smoke visible throughout the day. Firefighters continue to patrol containment lines in the most rugged terrain around the fire, searching for wisps of smoke and hidden areas of smoldering heat. Crews on foot are monitoring the remote depths of Alamo and lower Peralta Canyons and patrolling around cliffs and rocky terrain on Cochiti Mesa. On the western side of the fire, crews continue to patrol and monitor containment lines along the Bear Springs Road (FR 266), working further inward from the fire edge using hand tools and water to mop up areas of heat in the Hondo Canyon area. Crews continue chipping up piles of slash and backhauling unneeded equipment on other contained lines across the fire.

CLOSURES: Go to the Santa Fe National Forest Website at https://bit.ly/SantaFeNF- Closures. A forest-wide closure goes into effect on Thursday, May 19, prohibiting public access to the Santa Fe National Forest due to active wildfire and extreme fire danger.

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: The Santa Fe National Forest will implement a Stage III forest closure Thursday, May

19. Stage II Fire Restrictions remain 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 and Los Alamos.

Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR). There is a flight restriction over the fire area and drones are also prohibited.

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