NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Hermits Peak Fire began around 4:30 p.m. on April 6, 2022 after the Las Dispensas prescribed burn on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest got out of control. Unexpected winds caused the fire to spread outside the prescribed burn boundary.

The Calf Canyon Fire started in the Gallinas Canyon in the Santa Fe National Forest. On Saturday, April 23, 2022, officials announced that the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires had been combined.

On May 10, fire officials expanded evacuations to neighboring Taos and warned several communities in Colfax county about the potential of evacuations. So far, no mandatory evacuations have been issued in Colfax County, but several areas are under “Ready” and “Set” evacuation status. For a complete map of all communities evacuated, click this link here.

In Colfax County these areas have been moved to “SET” status:

  • Black Lake
  • Black Lake Resorts
  • Hidden Lake

Residents from these areas can repopulate as of 8:00 a.m. Sunday, May 22, 2022. The road closure on Highway 434 has been moved to where Mile Marker 24 should be, just south of the entrance to Black Lake Resort. Highway 120 will now be open in both directions.

The Village of Angel Fire has also been placed to ‘SET’ status. The Vietnam Memorial Area and Taos Pines have been placed to ‘READY’ status.

In San Miguel County, these communities remain evacuated (“Go!” status):

  • Holy Ghost
  • Tres Lagunas
  • El Macho
  • Lower Posada
  • Upper and Lower Colonias
  • Cow Creek
  • Bull Canyon

In Mora County, these communities are evacuated (“Go!” status):

  • Sierra Bonita
  • Chacon
  • Holman West

In Taos County, these communities are evacuated (“Go!” status):

  • Lllano
  • Santa Barbara
  • Rodarte
  • Sipapu
  • Las Mochas
  • Rock Wall
  • Tres Ritos
  • Angostura
  • Start Date: The Hermits Peak Fire started on April 6, 4:30 p.m. The Calf Canyon Fire started on April 19.
  • Location: Santa Fe National Forest 12 miles northwest of Las Vegas
  • Containment: 40%
  • Size: 311,166 acres
  • Structures Threatened: More than 15,000 homes and other structures said to be threatened by the fire.
  • Structures Burned: Threatened: Around 300 buildings damaged or destroyed, including 166 homes.
  • Evacuations: Areas of San Miguel, Mora, and Taos counties.
  • Cause: The Hermits Peak Fire started as a prescribed burn that spread out of boundaries. The Calf Canyon Fire’s cause is under investigation.
  • Total Personnel: 2,707
  • Area Vegetation: Heavy mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, brush, and grass.
Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fire map from May 23, 2022. (Courtesy: NM Fire Info.com)

Supplies and items suggested for an evacuation bag include:

  • Flashlight with plenty of extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medications in their original bottle, plus copies of the prescriptions
  • Eyeglasses (with a copy of the prescription)
  • Water (at least one gallon per person is recommended; more is better)
  • Map of the area
  • Checkbook, cash, and credit cards
  • Phone charger
  • Foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking
  • Items that infants and elderly household members may require
  • Medical equipment and devices such as dentures, crutches, prostheses, etc.
  • Change of clothes for each household member
  • Sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member

Plans for pets include:

  • Identifying shelter
  • Gathering pet supplies
  • Ensuring your pet has proper ID and up-to-date veterinarian records
  • Providing a pet carrier and leash

Take the following steps to shelter a pet:

  • Call local animal shelter, or animal control office to get advice and information
  • Keep veterinary records to prove vaccinations are current
  • Find out which local hotels and motels allow pets and where pet boarding facilities are located.Be sure to research some outside the local area in case local facilities close