NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Calf Canyon Fire was caused by a “pile burn holdover from January that remained dormant under the surface through three winter snow events before reemerging in April,” the Santa Fe National Forest said on Friday. The Calf Canyon Fire started on April 19. On Saturday, April 23, 2022, officials announced that the blaze had merged with the Hermits Peak Fire.

According to a news release, on January 29, crews concluded the Gallinas Canyon Wildland Urban Interface pile burn. On April 9, crews responded to smoke in the vicinity of the pile burn. The release states that crews lined the 1.5-acre Calf Canyon Fire and continued to monitor the fire over the next couple of days.

Then, ten days later on April 19, the Calf Canyon Fire reignited and escaped containment lines. Then, a wind event on April 22 caused “significant fire spread.”

“The Santa Fe National Forest is 100 percent focused on suppressing these fires with the support of the Type 1 incident management teams who are fully prepared to manage complex, all-risk situations,” SFNF Supervisor Debbie Cress said in a news release. “Our commitment is to manage the public lands entrusted to us by improving the forest’s resilience to the many stressors they are facing, including larger, hotter wildfires, historic levels of drought, rising temperatures, and insects and disease.”

On May 20, the U.S. Forest Service announced the decision to pause all prescribed burns nationwide on forest lands.