SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A fire in northern New Mexico continues to grow rapidly, forcing evacuations. At a community meeting, authorities say communities should remain on alert as winds could push the fire north.
“I think we have another possible day if we have the same activity that we had today. That fire moved a mile and a half, maybe two miles. That’s a little bit farther than that. However, if it picks up, more intense than it did today, it could be there by tomorrow,” said an official at the meeting.
Firefighters say about a hundred residents in Las Dispensas, San Ignacio, Las Tusas, and Pendaries RV Park are being evacuated. A shelter has been set up at Old Memorial Middle School, which can hold 150 people.
The Hermits Peak Fire is currently sitting at 1,280 acres and is about 10% contained. Most of the fire is still in the forest.
The fire started as a prescribed burn in the Santa Fe National Forest near Las Vegas last week and quickly got out of control. It’s something the district ranger acknowledged and apologized for at the start of the community meeting. “Our prescribed burn from last Wednesday was the cause of the Hermits Peak Fire. With that said, we take full responsibility and with a heavy heart, we are really sorry for what happened,” said Steve Romero, district ranger, Pecos, of the Las Vegas Ranger District.
Romero said their forecast said they had favorable conditions. However, the winds kicked in unexpectedly. At this point, authorities say they aren’t aware of any structures that have been lost.
They are calling in for more help which includes 20 more engines.