Wildfire Incident Information
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40% contained
Fire Status
ACTIVE
Last Updated
42 mins, 14 secs ago
Fire Start
Tuesday, April 19, 2022 9:00 AM MDT
Incident #
2022-NWCG-8069
Primary Fire Agency

National Wildfire Coordinating Group

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Current Weather

Fire Growth Potential

Fire Weather Forecast

Incident Overview

Inciweb information was updated: 3 hours, 18 mins ago

Incident Photo for the Calf Canyon Fire

The Calf Canyon Fire was reported on April 19 in the Upper Gallinas area. Hermits Peak Fire resources were utilized as initial attack on the new start, when weather and wind warnings became a concern. High winds were over 70 mph consistently over a few days making the fire very active and very difficult for firefighters to engage. Southwest Team 1 was managing the Hermits Peak fire when the two fires, Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon, merged.  Firefighter and public safety were the number one concern as the extreme weather conditions continued and evacuations were in place in four counties.   

On May 15, the fire management was separated into the East, West and South Zones. An incident management team has been assigned to each zone to bring the needed resource and management capabilities across the large fire area. The teams are implementing full suppression strategies for the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires. The East Zone is managed by California Interagency Incident Team 2, West Zone is currently being managed by the Southwest IMT Team 1, and the South Zone is being managed by the California Interagency Incident Management Team 5.

6pm Live Daily Updates follow on the Calf Canyon & Hermits Peak Facebook page

Interactive Evacuation Status Map  

Basic Incident Details

Incident Type
Wildfire
Cause
Under Investigation
Date of Origin
Tuesday, April 19, 2022 3:00 PM MDT
Location
12 Miles NW of Las Vegas NM
Incident Commander
SWA Team 1 and Team 3, ICs Carl Schwope and Dave Gessar - CA Area Team 2, IC Nickie Johnny
Coordinates
35.759, -105.503

Current Situation

Total Personnel
2,899
Size (Acres)
310,016
Containment
40%
Fuels Involved
South Zone: Short Grass, Hardwood Litter, Timber(Litter & Understory).

Fuels remain atypically dry due to ongoing severe drought exasperated by persistently low humidity, high temperatures, and
strong winds. The fire has been growing primarily through Ponderosa pine and true-fir timber stands with a significant amount of dead and downed fuels in the understory. Green-up in
grass is nearly nonexistent due to extreme drought.

West Zone: Timber (Grass & Understory), Closed Timber Litter, Timber (Litter & Understory)

- Fuels are extremely dry with 1hr fuels 3%, 10 hr at 3%, 100 hr fuels at 2% and 1000 hr fuels 8%. Fuel loadings in the Closed Timber Litter and Timber models are exceptionally high, with all fuels available to burn. All fuels are being consumed.

East Zone: Timber (grass understory), closed timber litter, timber (litter & understory). Fuels are extremely dry from severe drought, low humidities, high temperatures, and strong winds.
Significant Events
Extreme Crowning Group Torching Spotting

Narrative:
South Zone: Active Fire Behavior Short Crown Runs, Flanking, Spotting

Fire activity is primarily on the western flanks of the Sangre de Cristo range. The forecast back door cold front that occurred during the night resulted in easterly winds which have increased fire activity throughout the day. A reinforcing front will move
through tonight resulting in continued easterly wind flow over the fire area tomorrow. Fire activity on the eastern portion of the South Zone is
limited to interior consumption with minor flareups that pose little threat to control lines.

West Zone:
Extreme, Crowning, Group Torching, Spotting.

Today's observed fire behavior consisted of single/group tree torching, roll out with slope reversal, short crown runs with spotting up to .10 mile.

East Zone: Smoldering and creeping fire behavior observed within the East Zone. Interior pockets of fuel continue to consume, well into the interior of the fire, and rollout may challenge containment lines.

Planned Outlook

Planned Actions
South Zone: Patrol and mop-up any heat that has a potential to threaten containment lines. Backhaul hose, garbage and any unneeded equipment. Look for opportunities to go direct when applicable. Identify potential contingency line. Continue chipping operations in Indian Head Ranch. Continue line construction from the 83 Road north to Bull Creek. Prepare indirect line along the 203 Road to Ruidoso Ridge. Scout additional control line placement west of the 203 Road for future implementation to defend all communities west of Skyline Ridge. Continue indirect line prep from Highway 25 to Bull Creek Drainage. Construct line from DP-731 to County Road 63 along the 646 Road. Construct line from Mora Campground to Iron Gate Campground. Construct line from DP-66 to DP-25. Locate, triage and prep all structures. Provide structure defense in Upper and Lower Colonias, Pecos River Corridor and all other threatened communities to the east. West Zone: Branch 20 - Continue direct line N of Martinez Pond in Div K south to tie into dozer line. The 1500 foot of elevation gain in less than 1-mile, ragged edge and spots in heavy mixed conifer has delayed completion. Estimate completing tomorrow and patrolling with 2 IHCs for 2-3 additional days. Road system from Penasco to Ripley Point along the Bear Mountain Road is has been opened up. Continue to improve road and evaluate opportunities to tie road into western fires edge near Comales Cutoff. After evaluating alternatives, direct line construction along the active perimeter west of Angostura is the preferred option and IHCs are beginning to implement. It is estimated that it will take 8-9 IHCs 6-8 days to secure the fires edge South of Highway 518. Aggressive aerial suppression efforts directly along the fires edge will be used in coordination with crews and mechanized equipment to secure this edge. Branch 25 - In coordination with East Zone, continue line construction on the northern community protection line from Highway 518 to Highway 76, South to the Luna fire scar and north to highway 64.

East Zone: Work with the communities in the East Zone of the fire. East zone will continue to identify values at risk and address concerns from the community and cooperators. Develop evacuation zones in coordination with the other zones and continue to communicate and coordinate progress. Coordinate with other Incident management teams with resources and strategies. Continue line construction on County Road B003
Projected Incident Activity
12 hours:
West Zone: SR 518 near Angostura has reached SR 518. Spot fires to the south of the Agua Piedra Campground on SR518 have "hung" up mid slope. Fire south of Tres Ritos will move northwest across the mid-slope. Fire at Romero Lake has stayed within containment lines. Fire in the Chacon Corridor continues backing downslope towards SR 121.

South Zone: Fire is expected to remain very active through the burn period, and into the night due to high winds, low relative humidity, and a southeasterly wind. Several down slope fire runs occurred last night that are expected to progressively flank/run the slopes to the north and northwest resulting in additional acres burned. Several spot fires up to a half mile distance occurred down slope of the runs. Smoke flow to the north is expected to accumulate in the upper Pecos Valley drainage, with some column development possible. Wind direction transitions from southeasterly to east during the night with a reinforcing frontal passage. Potential for down slope wind driven fire behavior during the late evening hours.

East Zone: 12 hours: Active burning conditions expected, rollout will continue to challenge containment lines. Fire will likely continue to spread as fuels are extremely dry and receptive. Crews will continue to go direct where possible and the
probability of ignition is 40-50%.

24 hours:
West Zone: The passage of a cold front has brought in cooler temperatures, higher relative humidity and less winds. Lower level winds will come out of the south, southeast while ridge top winds will be more southerly. Fire will spread north to SR 518 by roll out and corresponding up slope runs. The fire above Tres Ritos will have shot range spotting (.10 miles) with slope reversal.


South Zone: Post frontal conditions will result increased relative humidity, and diminishing southeast winds. A
southeasterly wind pattern will result in continued up-drainage spread of any new perimeter from previous day. Very active fire behavior including rapid spread on slopes, torching with spotting, and short crown runs may be expected. Potential down slope winds into the Cow Creek / Bull Creek area, and over the crest of the Sangre de Cristo mountains on the western flank. Potential for column development, and increased acreage due to wind direction dynamics. Improved
relative humidity and partial cloud cover, but overall very active fire behavior. Smoke accumulation likely in the upper
Pecos River drainage, with potential smoke in the lower drainage overnight.

East Zone: 24 hours: Active burning conditions expected, rollout will continue to challenge containment lines. Fire will likely continue to spread as fuels are extremely dry and receptive. Crews will continue to go direct where possible and the
probability of ignition is 50-60%.




48 hours:
West Zone: Fire behavior will moderate as relative humidity increases during the day with good over night recoveries.
Winds decrease and are out of the south. Burn periods will begin later in the days and end earlier. Some areas of the fire
may have activity where fuels, winds and topography align but will have minimal growth. Single/group tree torching, roll
out and some short duration runs are possible. Single and group tree torching are probable.

South Zone: Partly cloudy sky, low daytime humidity, and good night time recovery will sustain very active burning conditions. South-southwest drainage winds in the Pecos River drainage will produce flanking fire with up slope torching and short range spotting in the Cow Creek and Bull Creek areas, and other areas on the west facing slopes. Potential down canyon winds may produce erratic fire behavior and increased acreage . Some fire growth expected for the period due to southerly wind flow. Likely accumulation of smoke overnight in upper Pecos Valley.

East Zone: 48 hours: Active burning conditions expected, rollout will continue to challenge containment lines. Fire will likely continue to spread as fuels are extremely dry and receptive. Crews will continue to go direct where possible and the probability of ignition is 60-65%.

72 hours:

West Zone: Fire behavior will begin to slowly increase as weather gradually warms up and relative humidity decreases.

South Zone: Continued active fire behavior due to warm, dry, and windy conditions. Winds vary between SSW-NE-SW with threat of thunderstorms. Continued dry conditions will produce active fire behavior potential including rapid fire spread on slopes with torching and spotting.

East Zone: 72 hours: Active burning conditions expected, rollout will continue to challenge containment lines. Fire will likely continue to spread as fuels are extremely dry and receptive. Crews will continue to go direct where possible and
the probability of ignition
is 60-65%. There is a 40% chance of strong thunderstorms.

Anticipated after 72 hours:
West Zone: Fire behavior increase
as drier warmer air moves into the fire area.

South Zone: Resumption of warming and drying will sustain conditions favorable for active fire behavior. Expecting high temperatures, single digit humidity, unstable atmosphere, and gusty SW winds.

East Zone: Anticipated after 72 hours: Active burning conditions expected, humidity will be dropping. Rollout will continue to challenge containment lines. Fire will likely continue to spread as fuels are extremely dry and receptive. Crews will continue to go direct where possible and the probability of ignition is 80-90%

Weather Synopsis

Weather Concerns
South Zone: A backdoor front pushed through last night bringing an influx of moisture,
lower temperatures, and persisting easterly winds to the area. Overnight recoveries
of good to excellent resulted in relative humidity minimums today that were well above the average values seen at the fire in the 20 to even 30% range. High
temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees below normal, sitting primarily in the 60s and mid
to upper 50s. An east component to the wind persisted into the afternoon hours for areas east of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, while the west slopes and Pecos Valley drifted to the south and southwest. Magnitudes were greatly reduced with sustained speeds in the 15 to 20 MPH range and gusts staying below 25 MPH. Another surge of
the front will come in tonight, reinforcing the east wind and injecting another round of cold air into the area. Temperatures tonight near the south zone of the fire will dip below freezing across several areas and overnight recoveries are expected to be good to excellent again. Conditions will be warmer and drier on Monday before a chance of thunderstorms enters the forecast on Tuesday.

West Zone:


DATE ISSUED: Saturday 05/21/2022 Today¿s Observed as of 1500: Widespread cloud cover, breezy winds, and cooler temperatures are being observed across the fire so far today. Winds are generally out of the southeast today, 10-20 mph, with gusts
25-30 miles per hour have been reported. Minimum relative humidity values are currently in the 30-40 % range, up about 20-25 % from yesterday. Daytime
temperatures are in the 50s, running 15-20 degrees cooler than this time yesterday.
Sunday's Forecast: Another day of cooler temperatures and partly cloudy skies are
expected tomorrow, with minimum humidity values in the 20 to near 30 percent range. Areas of fog are expected in the early morning hours. Winds will be out of the south-southeast direction, 10-15 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Higher elevation winds will be more southwesterly. Isolated showers in the afternoon. Daytime max
temperatures will be in the 50s to mid 60s. Outlook: Monday: Mostly cloudy and cool
conditions are expected, with chances for thunderstorms in the afternoon. Southwest winds will return, 13-17 mph, with gusts to 30 mph. Daytime max temperatures will be in the 60s. Minimum relative humidity values will drop to the upper teens - low
20s range.

East Zone:

A cold front moved through Friday night, bringing brisk northeast winds and much
colder temperatures to the zone. Overcast skies produced some light snow near the fire during the morning hours, with gradual thinning of cloud cover during the afternoon. Temperatures only recovered into the lower to middle 50s during the afternoon, with humidity remaining above 40 percent. Winds were generally from the south, with a few gusts around 20 mph during the afternoon. Cold conditions continue Saturday night, with lows expected to fall to near freezing, while humidity
again recovers back above 75 percent. Winds will be light, and mainly terrain driven.
Outlook - Sunday: After a cold morning, temperatures will moderate through the day,
with highs back to around 60 degrees. Higher temperatures will lead to slightly lower
humidity in the afternoon, but will remain above 25 percent through the day. Winds will again be moderate from the south 10 to 15 mph, with gusts near 20 in the afternoon on higher elevations and exposed locations.

Fire Incident Contact

Incident Contact
Calf Canyon Fire Information
Email: 2022.calfcanyon@firenet.gov
Phone: 505-356-2636
Hours: 8am to 8pm
Fire Unit Information
Santa Fe National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
New Mexico
Santa Fe, NM 87508