Update: Calf Canyon – Hermits Peak Fire May 15

9:35 a.m. MDT May 15, 2022

Map Calf Canyon Hermits Peak Fire 343 a.m. May 15, 2022
Map of the Calf Canyon / Hermits Peak Fire. The bright red areas represent heat detected by a satellite at 3:43 a.m. May 15, 2022.

The spread of the Calf Canyon / Hermits Peak Fire in Northern New Mexico has slowed in recent days compared to the rapid spread seen early last week during very strong winds and ultra low humidity.

The fire was mapped Saturday evening at 288,942 acres. Most of the activity at that time was on the west flanks, and on the north side near Holman, Chacon, Cleveland, and Mora. Crews are working to keep it away from structures and are putting in additional firelines. The perimeter on the east side between Las Vegas and La Cueva has been secure for several days.

Three Incident Management Teams are assigned. The Southwest Incident Management Team 3 (SWIMT3) has assumed command of the southern half of the fire. The SWIMT 1 took management of the northern half, and the California IMT 2 will work to the north on a bigger-picture strategic plan for control, identifying additional locations where containment lines may be constructed.

The weather forecast for Sunday is west to southwest winds 15 to 20 mph, with gusts to 25 on the north and central zones. Temperatures will range from the upper 60’s to mid-80’s depending on the elevation, with a minimum relative humidity 7 to 11 percent. Even though the wind speeds are not extreme the fire will remain active, with critically dry fuels and near-record high temperatures.

Firefighters on the Calf Canyon - Hermits Peak Fire
Firefighters on the Calf Canyon – Hermits Peak Fire, near Highway 434, posted by Santa Fe National Forest May 12, 2022.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

19 thoughts on “Update: Calf Canyon – Hermits Peak Fire May 15”

  1. On the FAM meeting it was noted that long term modeling was showing this fire making it to 1 MILLION acres due to lack of suppression options on the W and N side.

    Think about that, an escaped Rx fire potentially making it to 1 MILLION acres!!!!

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  2. Timber stand improvement helps reduce fire risk and no use of controlled burn. But it takes many people and hard work. Also, people who own land and let trees grow near houses and do not make defensible space are asking for trouble. We have to be fire aware and remember that fire doesn’t care.

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  3. So sad to see so many lose so much. Hotshot teams, altho the danger is part of their job, don’t need to be put in un-necessary danger. Our local Volunteer Fire Fighters are also being called in to assist and this leaves other small rural areas without adequate coverage. It’s way too easy for a controlled burn to turn into an UN controlled burn in the Spring, when High Winds and low humidity are the norm. I do hope that someone (the government and Forest Service) will step up and take responsibility for the millions of dollars that this is costing in loses to so many people.

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  4. Another win for the fire-industrial complex and the science expert there. Prescribe cigarettes to control lung cancer.

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    1. Fire – industrial complex. Now there’s term I’ve never heard before, As most of the equipment is handtools and pumps and unlike ordnance can be reused I don’t quite see the comparison with the military- industrial- complex, Only thing I can see that’s even close to this analogy would be the VLATs and even they have a place.

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  5. Our world ? is changing so fast the we or us .must be smarter on how we do things fires are not just fire weather changes are another bigger and government resource funding is less ..fire management must change .. as we do to .control burn .most have the personal equipment containment and know when to say no to upper management speak up . Always life over property. And never ever take a back seat to caution …some people ether forget them selfs when there in the office .. Remember crews LCES … LOOK OUT ,COMUNCATION, ESCAPE ROUTES. SAFTY ZONE ..AND FOR (PUBLIC THERE OUT THERE DOING THERE BEST SLEPPING ON THE GROUND .NOT ALL HAVE THE CONFERT OF HOME OR MAKING THE MONEY Management Take care of your people so they can take care of you . And do a good job .God-bless you all …viva Cristo rey..

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  6. I’m the government. It’s my money.
    I agree, someone has to be held accountable. Seems like the worst are always from a controlled burn. Incredible how this will effect everything!
    So sad this happens.

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    1. Hi Steve,
      The VAST majority of fires are NOT started by controlled burns. Arson, lack of repairs / oversight by energy companies and people being stupid / careless.

      Controlled burns, done properly, prevent devastating fires. If the conditions were inappropriate for the burns that ignited this fire, then we can put that squarely into the STUPID / CARELESS Human category.

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    1. They probably stayed at a holiday inn express last night so they are obviously experts!

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  7. That should make the federal government liable for any and all damages caused by a so called controlled burn…

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  8. Who are the geniuses whose idea it was to start any type (campfire or controlled burn) of fire in the windiest time of the year especially during a severe drought?

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    1. Could have been the same Governor who burned down businesses during the plandemic. Lol.

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