The Largest New Mexico Wildfire Is Still Uncontained

Daniella Cressman
Markus Spiske

Unfortunately, the largest New Mexico wildfire—The Cooks Peak Fire— is still uncontained, leaving many New Mexicans on edge.

Saturday afternoon, a blanket of smoke miles wide began to settle on the prairie south of Springer and all points west. Communities across northeastern New Mexico will continue to see heavy smoke for days, if not weeks, as the region’s prevailing westerly winds also spread smoke from the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak wildfires, and the Tunnel Fire north of Flagstaff, Ariz. —Geoffrey Plant

Firefighters have done their best to control the fire, but have been unsuccessful so far due to the high winds. As of April 23, 2022, it has expanded to over 48,672 acres.

Many have prepared to evacuate immediately due to these dire circumstances, and the governor has declared an emergency for Mora County.

"At a news conference Saturday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a state of emergency for Mora County." —Geoffrey Plant

Firefighters say that they are hopeful to have this fire under control by May 7, at the very latest, but this is not an easy task: The fire began on April 17, 2022.

Thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries among the firefighters, but many who live in Cimarron are terrified of what might happen.

Most had spent Friday on edge, ready to bolt at a moment’s notice as extremely high winds from the south-southwest carried flames toward their homes and businesses.—Geoffrey Plant

These people might have to evacuate at any moment, leaving their homes and businesses behind.

“It was scary yesterday,” said Lura Stocking, who lives in Cimmaron with her husband, Roger Stocking. “It was bad, eerie. There was so much smoke, you couldn’t even breathe. You couldn’t even see the sun — it was just a red dot.” —Geoffrey Plant

I hope everyone is staying safe and that these firefighters can control the fire as soon as possible.

Update: The fire has now expanded to nearly 52,000 acres.

Ongoing updates:

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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