Cerro Pelado fire update Monday (April 25): Hotshot crews join firefighting effort, no significant change in conditions

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos County and the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Field Office update community on status of fire currently burning in Jemez Mountains

April 25, 2022

As of Monday morning, a combination of favorable weather conditions and firefighting resources have kept the Cerro Pelado fire in the Jemez Mountains from changing significantly. The fire remains at about 4,688 acres and approximately 10 miles southwest of Laboratory property. 

A Type 1 incident management team took control of the fire Sunday morning, which added personnel and aviation assets. Today, a “hotshot” crew will join the firefighting effort, bringing the total personnel on scene to over 100. Favorable weather conditions continue to enable three helicopters and a fixed-wing airplane to complete fire retardant and water drops.

New Mexico State Road 4 remains closed at the intersection of West Jemez Road to the intersection of NM 126 (from mile marker 50 to mile marker 30), and the area is still under evacuation.

Los Alamos County and the Laboratory implemented Stage 2 fire restrictions today, which will prohibit outdoor burning and some work activities.

The Laboratory, Los Alamos County and NNSA Field Office continue to monitor the fire as a unified response. Emergency operations managers from Los Alamos and Sandoval counties are drawing on the technical expertise of the Laboratory and NNSA, as well as that of the Los Alamos County Fire Department. Los Alamos County Fire Chief Troy Hughes said this has no negative impact on LAFD’s ability to respond to county or Laboratory calls.

Hughes also noted that Los Alamos residents should expect to see smoky conditions in the county as smoke will rise upward when it is generated by the fire and then, because it will cool while traveling through the air, settle into canyons and other areas in and around Los Alamos. He added that, while weather conditions may move smoke from the fire into surrounding communities, a change in smoke conditions doesn’t necessarily indicate a change in fire behavior.

The Laboratory, Los Alamos County and NNSA Field Office will continue to provide daily updates unless there is a change to fire conditions.

For further information specific to the Cerro Pelado fire, please check the U.S. Forest Service website.

Updates can also be found here: