Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Megafire reaches 50 percent containment

Fire personnel plan evacuations.
Fire personnel plan evacuations.(USDA Forest Service | USDA Forest Service)
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 10:57 AM MDT
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LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KJCT) - After nearly two months, wildland firefighters have successfully contained 50 percent of the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Megafire. The inferno started just last month, rapidly expanding to over 314,000 acres.

Extreme drought, high winds, and low precipitation have made for extreme and unpredictable fire weather, with little improvement expected for the foreseeable future.

The blaze was originally two separate fires with different causes. The Hermit’s Peak Fire began on April 6, after a “pile burn holdover” from January reignited. Holdovers, also known as “sleeper fires” are fires that smolder in a dormant state under the surface for a considerable amount of time. The Calf Canyon Fire began on April 19 after a controlled burn grew out of control.

The megafire is the largest in New Mexico history and continues to grow, despite almost 3,000 personnel working to contain the blaze. Fuels remain extremely flammable, with green grass described as “nonexistent.” Evacuations and pre-evacuations are still in effect for the surrounding areas, a map of which can be viewed here.

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