Updates on Four of the Wildfires Burning in New Mexico

Calf Canyon–Hermits Peak Fire, 2 a.m. May 10, 2022 – Cory Carlson

The National Weather Service has taken the unusual step of issuing a a Red Flag Warning one and two days in advance for the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire 21 miles east of Santa Fe, New Mexico. This fire has become the largest fire in the recorded history of New Mexico. At 299,565 acres it has eclipsed the previous record set by the 297,845-acre Whitewater and Baldy Fires when they burned together in May of 2012 in Southwest New Mexico. On Tuesday it was again putting up a large smoke column while a 5 to 20 mph wind gusted out of of the northwest, west, and southwest at 25 mph. The humidity dropped to 10 percent in the afternoon. The prediction is for winds gusting from the west and southwest at more than 30 mph with single digit relative humidity. Similar conditions will exist at least on Thursday for the area of the Black and Bear Trap Fires in southwest New Mexico…

Just move around through the fires noted in this larger article. Depending on wind direction, we’re getting smoked here in Santa Fe County from either the Hermit’s Peak fire or Cerro Pelado.

5 thoughts on “Updates on Four of the Wildfires Burning in New Mexico

  1. Pulaski says:

    “Researchers say fire policies should take demographics into account” https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2022/05/31/researchers-say-fire-policies-should-take-demographics-into-account/
    “A 2018 study [link] found that the number of homes located in areas with high levels of fire hazards increased by more than 40 percent between 1990 and 2010.
    A new study published this month in the journal Environmental Research Letters [link] that focused on the demographics of the people living in those areas with high risk of wildfires in the western United States cited the 2018 study.
    …Thousands of New Mexicans have been forced to leave their homes as wildfires char hundreds of thousands of acres across the state. Hundreds of structures are known to have been lost this year to wildfires in New Mexico.
    With fires likely to increase under climate change scenarios, new policies may be needed and researchers with Resources for the Future say these policies may need to take into account the demographics of areas with higher levels of fire hazards.”

  2. Smilin' Jack says:

    Upgrades are coming to an Albuquerque airport tarmac that could change the game when it comes to combating wildfires.
    On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich visited the Cibola National Forest Air Tanker Base at Kirtland Air Force Base. It was given $15.5 million for renovations to the apron.
    “Everything that limits your ability to respond to these fires that need air support is based on time, distance and weight. And having this location right here in Albuquerque fills a blank spot on the map,” Heinrich said.
    Right now the tarmac is at its limit, with tankers that can carry 3,000 of fire retardant. But with the new upgrades, tankers three times that size, carrying 9,000 gallons of retardant, will be able to operate at the Cibola National Forest Air Tanker Base. Those bigger tankers are called VLATs, which stands for Very Large Air Tankers. They are operated by 10 Tanker, a New Mexico company based in Albuquerque. The CEO, John Gould, said the company is the only VLAT operator in the world.
    “This is our home base and ironically we’ve never been able to use the air tanker base at our home base,” Gould said during a press conference Tuesday.
    So far this year, the 10-Tanker VLATs have dropped more than 2,000,000 gallons of fire retardant, about 70% of which has been in New Mexico according to Gould.
    “Basically you are going to see a repaving that’s going to be much more robust because these are much bigger aircraft that carry much bigger loads,” Heinrich said. https://www.koat.com/article/renovations-air-tankers-albuquerque-kirtland-base-retardent/40158416

  3. Mayordomo says:

    “Big wildfires earlier this year damaged the acequias that funnel water to New Mexico’s rural farms and communities. Diversion structures were destroyed, silt and debris filled many existing water channels and water flow changed paths.
    On Monday acequia managers asked lawmakers in Santa Fe to fully fund acequia disaster response.” https://www.kunm.org/local-news/2022-11-23/acequia-association-asks-legislators-to-boost-emergency-response-funding
    “New Mexico Acequia Association Executive Director Paula Garcia said there are 72 acequias in the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon burn scar, and they have benefited from the Federal Disaster Declaration that mandated federal help, coordinated by FEMA.
    Garcia told the Rural Economic Opportunities Task Force that the Acequia Association submitted 38 requests for public assistance to FEMA. The challenge with FEMA assistance, she says, is that it comes in the form of reimbursements for money spent on repairs. But people can’t afford to pay upfront.
    “Their cash balances in their bank account might be $1,000. Ours is typically about $600,” Garcia told the committee. “There’s no way that they’re going to pay for this work up front and get reimbursed.”
    The federal aid in northern New Mexico came because that fire was accidentally started by a federal agency, the U.S. Forest Service. There has been no similar help for victims of the Black Fire that raged between Silver City and Truth or Consequences in May and June.”

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