LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (KRQE) – High winds have caused the Cerro Pelado Fire in the Jemez Mountains to grow more than 40,000 acres. While residents in Los Alamos aren’t being evacuated, they are being asked to be ready to leave and for many who experienced the Cerro Grande and Las Conchas fires, they can’t help but worry.

It’s a waiting game for many living near the Cerro Pelado Fire burning in the Jemez Mountains. People in Los Alamos are hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. “There’s a little bit of anxiety because of everybody’s energy and when the wind shifts of course we get more smoke. But it’s not as bad as what I’ve seen in the past,” said Los Alamos resident Annmarie Cutler.

Story continues below

Many who live here are familiar with fire evacuations. The destruction from the Cerro Grande Fire and the Las Conchas Fire in 2011 brings back a lot of difficult memories for this community.

It’s adding to the anxiety people are feeling now as the county moved the set phase of the Ready Set Go program. “I’ve only lived here for five years but one thing I have noticed is the fire brings out a sense of nostalgia in people in a bad way. Where they start to have PTSD if you will,” said resident Vicente Ibarra.

Jim Rickman wants to remind people to pack things that are irreplaceable like photographs and sentimental objects. “Your television all that other stuff that can all be replaced. Heirloom stuff, it cannot be replaced. Things that you really want to remember those things can’t be replaced,” said Rickman.

While people in Los Alamos get ready for evacuations, continue to pray for those who have already been displaced because of the Hermits Peak Calf Canyon Fire. “We are just feeling for the people in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas from their fire it’s a terrible situation up there so our thoughts and good thoughts and prayers are with them,” said Ibarra.

Officials in Los Alamos are asking residents and businesses to stop outdoor watering until Los Alamos is no longer threatened by the fire.