The Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon wildfires in New Mexico, which started April 6th and April 19th, are now 72% contained, according to the US Forest Service. The fires, which were caused by a mismanaged prescribed burn conducted by the US Forest Service, resulted in the destruction of 341,471 acres and hundreds of homes, making it the largest wildfire in New Mexico history. However, yesterday widespread showers kept fire behavior at a minimum.
"The devastating impact of this fire to the communities and livelihoods of those affected in New Mexico demanded this level of review to ensure we understand how this tragic event unfolded," Forest Service chief Randy Moore said in a statement. "I cannot overstate how heartbreaking these impacts are on communities and individuals."
In their 80-page report on the wildfire, the US Forest Service explains that,
“This spring in New Mexico, a pile burn of hazardous logs that started in January, smoldered underground for months, persisting through multiple snowstorms and freezing temperatures, before resurfacing as a wildfire. That type of event was nearly unheard of until recently in the century-plus of experience the Forest Service has in working on these landscapes.”
A team of approximately 1,800 firefighters has been deployed to contain the fire and are continuing to work with local county emergency management.
The US Forest Service recommends the following resources on their website:
For updated evacuation information from the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires: www.tinyurl.com/hermitspeak. The Ready, Set, Go evacuation guide is available in English and Spanish here: https://tinyurl.com/RSGNM. For disaster assistance resources, visit: https://www.nmdhsem.org/2022-wildfires/.