Cerro Pelado fire Sunday (May 1) evening update: High wind continues to push smoke into Los Alamos, Española area; no evacuations planned at this time; section of N.M. 4 closure extends in length

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

May 2, 2022

Strong winds continue to push heavy smoke from the Cerro Pelado fire into Los Alamos, White Rock and Española and create challenges for firefighters in the Jemez Mountains. The fire is approximately 6 miles from Lab property, pushing southeast toward Cochiti Mesa. View current fire map. No evacuations of Los Alamos County are planned at this time.

While the Cerro Pelado fire does not pose an immediate threat to the Los Alamos community, County officials announce that Monday morning it will close the White Rock Visitor Center and RV Park located at 115 N.M.4. This precautionary measure allows for additional fire staging should it be necessary and limits out-of-town tourists.

Fire officials have closed N.M. 4 from mile marker 35 to the intersection of West Jemez Road. Note that the fire has not crossed N.M. 4 from the south. Valles Caldera National Preserve, Bandelier National Monument and Los Alamos County campgrounds are closed until further notice. 

Los Alamos County Emergency Manager Beverley Simpson recommends that residents read the brochure on the “Ready, Set, Go!” wildland fire preparedness program, in the event that circumstances change.  She also suggests residents sign up for CodeRED by texting LOSALAMOS to 99411 to receive emergency alert notifications from the County.  

The Southern Area Red Incident Management Team will hold another public meeting on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Los Alamos County Council Chambers, 1000 Central Ave. in Los Alamos, to give an update on the fire. Viewers may also participate remotely by Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88609972433.

 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 reminds the community that this has no negative impact on LAFD’s ability to respond to county or Laboratory calls.

Be sure to rely on official sources for the latest information on the Cerro Pelado fire, such as the following resources: