Emergency officials and fire crews are preparing for predicted high wind gusts and low humidity today, but otherwise the Cerro Pelado fire in the Jemez Mountains remains about 10 miles from Laboratory property, approximately 6,119 acres and 15% contained. About 380 people have joined the firefighting effort. View updated fire map.
A “red flag warning” is in effect until 9 p.m., meaning fire conditions are extremely severe. Area residents and Lab employees should stay on alert. Fire and Laboratory emergency management officials remind everyone that irresponsible fire behavior, such as throwing cigarette butts out car windows, is extremely dangerous at any time, especially during severe conditions, and it will be reported to the authorities.
In preparation for dry weather, Los Alamos County and the Laboratory implemented Stage 2 fire restrictions on Monday, which prohibits any outdoor burning and restricts some work activities. The Laboratory and Los Alamos County also have taken extra precautions to control sparking if utility lines are damaged by today’s high winds.
Assuming no major change in conditions, the fire will continue to be visible, especially at night, and push smoke into the Los Alamos area today. View smoke report. N.M. 4 is also expected to remain open to local traffic only. Motorists should be cautious on the road: watch out for firefighting vehicles and equipment as well as wildlife displaced by the fire.
On Thursday evening, the Southern Area Red Incident Management Team briefed approximately 375 Los Alamos residents on the status of the Cerro Pelado fire. Seventy-five individuals participated in person at the Los Alamos High School and another 300 joined via Zoom. A video of the event is available on YouTube and on Los Alamos County’s webpage at the Los Alamos County Cerro Pelado updates page.
The Laboratory, Los Alamos County and the NNSA Field Office continue to monitor the fire as a unified response and will provide daily updates as long as they are necessary. 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: