The Hermits Peak Fire began April 6 as a result of the Las Dispensas prescribed fire on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest. Although forecasted weather conditions were within parameters for the prescribed fire, unexpected erratic winds in the late afternoon caused multiple spot fires that spread outside the project boundary. It was declared a wildfire at approximately 4:30 p.m. on April 6, 2022. Named the Hermits Peak Fire, the wildfire began approximately 12 miles northwest of Las Vegas, NM at the base of Hermits Peak in the Pecos Wilderness. The Hermits Peak Fire is in mixed conifer in steep, rugged terrain that poses challenges for firefighter access.
The Calf Canyon Fire was caused by a pile burn holdover from January that remained dormant under the surface through three winter snow events before reemerging in April. A holdover fire, also called a sleeper fire, is a fire that remains dormant for a considerable time.
The Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires are managed as one fire. An increase in crews, engines, and heavy equipment have arrived to support and strengthen fire suppression repair efforts, mitigate impacts from flooding and reenforce existing containment lines. Working hand in hand with private landowners, fire crews are fixing fences, repairing roads, seeding, chipping, and removing vegetation with great perseverance and fortitude. As additional requests are received, crews continue to respond wherever needs are identified.
© 2022 Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center