Cerro Pelado fire Monday (May 2) update: Fire remains 6 miles from LANL, crews and Lab prepared for red flag conditions tomorrow

May 2, 2022

Fire crews continue to work on the Cerro Pelado fire, which grew last night in windy conditions. As of Monday afternoon, the fire is 22,314 acres and is 10% contained. Favorable weather conditions today allowed firefighting aircraft to operate; potential red flag conditions are expected tomorrow (Tuesday, May 3).

The fire remains approximately six miles from Lab property, pushing southeast toward Cochiti Mesa. View the current fire maps here. While the Cerro Pelado fire does not currently pose an immediate threat to Los Alamos National Laboratory, measures are in place and resources are available to protect Laboratory facilities.

N.M. 4 from mile marker 35 to the intersection of West Jemez Road is closed to non-local traffic. Note that the fire has still 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. 

No evacuations of Los Alamos County are planned at this time. However, Los Alamos County Fire, Police and Emergency Managers are actively working with LANL and NNSA officials to develop plans should circumstances change. More information will be available in the coming days. 

Los Alamos County Emergency Manager Beverley Simpson indicates that Los Alamos County is in the “Ready” phase of the “Ready, Set, Go” wildland fire preparedness program. Community members should also be “Ready” and prepare accordingly by reviewing the “Ready, Set, Go!” online brochure. Simpson reminds individuals to consider arrangements for pets, stating that large animals can be taken to Expo New Mexico fair grounds in Albuquerque. To receive emergency alert notifications from the County, she requests residents sign up for CodeRED by texting LOSALAMOS to 99411. 

Los Alamos County and the Laboratory remain in Stage 2 fire restrictions, which prohibits any outdoor burning and restricts some work activities. Los Alamos and surrounding areas will continue to see periods of haze especially in the afternoons and evenings. View smoke report.

It also important to remember that information shared on social media that does not come from emergency officials may be inaccurate.

The Southern Area Red Incident Management Team will hold a public meeting tonight (May 2) 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: