Crews have made enough progress controlling the Cerro Pelado fire in the Jemez Mountains that fire officials are allowing N.M. 4 to re-open to local traffic and evacuated residents to return to their homes. Officials from the responding agencies urged travelers to be cautious on the road: watch out for firefighting vehicles and equipment as well as wildlife displaced by the fire.
However, while fire officials feel confident enough about the status of the perimeter of the fire to allow residents to return to their homes, a red flag warning has been issued for Friday, meaning high winds and dry conditions are expected. Officials urged everyone to be on alert, and the Laboratory has taken extra precautions to control sparking if its utility lines are damaged by wind or debris.
The Southern Area Red Incident Management Team will hold a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. today (Thursday, April 28) at Los Alamos High School, Griffith Gym, 1300 Diamond Drive in Los Alamos, to give an update on the fire. Viewers may also participate remotely by Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/5056632222
As of Thursday morning, the fire was estimated to be about 6,119 acres, a slight increase because “hotshot” crews have been burning fuels to control the path of the fire, and about 5% contained. It remains approximately 10 miles southwest of Laboratory property, and about 360 people have joined the firefighting effort. View updated fire map.
Los Alamos and surrounding areas should still expect to see periods of haze especially in the afternoons and evenings. View smoke report.
The Laboratory, Los Alamos County and NNSA Field Office continue to monitor the fire as a unified response and will provide daily updates. 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 reminded the community that this has no negative impact on LAFD’s ability to respond to county or Laboratory calls.
More information on the Cerro Pelado fire can be found here: