Type 1 team takes command tomorrow
Start date: April 22, 2022 Because: unknown Size: 4,688 hectares containment: 0%
Location: Forest Road 10 and NM Highway 4 about 7 miles east of Jemez Springs
evacuations: Sandoval County issued evacuation orders for the Sierra de Los Pinos and other communities near the Cerro Pelado fire. The Jemez Mountain Baptist Church on NM Highway 126 serves as the evacuation center. Expo New Mexico at the NM State Fairgrounds in Albuquerque is available for livestock. The Sandoval County Fire Department and Emergency Management will provide updated evacuation information as needed.
Closings: NM State Police have closed NM Highway 4 from the intersection with NM 126 east to Los Alamos. A Temporary Restriction on Flights (TFR) will be implemented throughout the fire area, which will include unmanned aircraft or drones. Further closures are under discussion.
Resources: Approximately 30 staff are on site with local district resources, La Cueva volunteers, 7 engines and 2 water tankers. The Southern Area Red Type 1 Incident Management Team under Incident Commander Steve Parrish will assume command of the Cerro Pelado Fire at 7 a.m. tomorrow, Sunday, April 24
Weather: There is a red flag warning today with mainly westerly winds then turning north-northwest later in the day with speeds of 20-25mph and gusts in excess of 40mph. Southwest winds will increase sharply to 20-30 mph midday through afternoon with gusts from the west upwards of 40 mph. Expect widespread wind gusts throughout the day.
Fuels and fire behaviour: Conditions in the forest are extremely dry with high fire hazards and abundant fuel availability. The Cerro Pelado Fire burns in steep, rocky terrain with heavy fuel loads of dead and fallen wood. Ponderosa pine in the lower elevations transitions to mixed conifers in the upper elevations. The fire is near burn scars from the 2011 Las Conchas fire, the 2013 Thompson Ridge fire, and the 2017 Cajete fire, as well as forest units treated with thinning and prescribed fire.
Strategy: Firefighters are focused today on protecting homes in the Sierra de los Pinos and preventing the Cerro Pelado fire from crossing west of Forest Road (FR) 10. Crews also monitor the southern edge of the fire and are fighting some localized fires ahead of the eastern fire boundary.
Security: The health and safety of firefighters and the public always comes first.
Smoke: Smoke from the Cerro Pelado Fire is likely to be seen from NM Highway 4, US Route 550, Canon, Jemez Pueblo, Jemez Springs, Sierra Los Pinos, La Cueva and San Diego Canyon. People sensitive to smoke and those with respiratory problems or heart disease are urged to take precautions. For information about air quality and how to protect your health, visit the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website online https://nmtracking.org/fire. An interactive smoke map below https://fire.airnow.gov/ you can zoom in on your area to see the latest smoking conditions.
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