SANTA FAY, NM – High winds blew over northern New Mexico on Sunday, again posing a tough challenge for a large wildfire-fighting group that has grown significantly over the weekend.
The Hermட்ஸ்s Peak / Golf Canyon fire east of Santa Fe began two fires before merging a week ago, burning about 75,000 acres on Friday and nearly 104,000 acres or 160 square miles by Sunday. It was 30 percent controlled, with smoke from the fire and another – the Zero Pelato fire in James Springs, 40 miles west of Santa Fe – penetrating much of the northern part of the state.
More than 1,000 firefighters worked to control the Hermits Peak / Golf Canyon fire. The spread of the fire from Friday to Saturday is higher than predicted, officials told a public conference. Fire information officer Mike Johnson said wind speeds sometimes exceeded 65 miles per hour. On Sunday, winds of up to 45 mph are expected, and “extreme behavior” is likely over the next two days. InciWebGovernment website that monitors wildfires.
No casualties were reported from the fire. Two were killed in another wildfire in April, state police said.
Carl Swoop, commander of the Regional Committee for the Coordination of Fire Resources of Federal, State, Local and Other Agencies, said on Saturday that the Hermitz Peak / Golf Canyon fire was “easily doubling”.
“We are still in a very dangerous fire situation. It will continue,” he said, adding that the wind was not letting up. High wind events, north wind events, south wind events. It’s absolutely perfect.
Mr. Schwope also urged residents to be vigilant for further eviction notices, and on Sunday afternoon, residents in two areas of Mora County were ordered to evacuate immediately. Mr. According to Johnson, about 6,000 people from 32 communities near the Hermits Peak / Golf Canyon fire, some in rural mountainous areas, were already under evacuation orders.
Monica Aragon left her home in Ledox, a small community northeast of Santa Fe on April 22 and returned once. She and her two children are staying with their parents in Simao, about 60 miles from her home.
On Friday, he said he received a call from a volunteer firefighter describing the situation. He did not want to panic, but said the fire had spread to the road in front of his house. He recalled that firefighters “kept it away from your home,” he said.
Due to the current risk, district officials could not provide a full account of how many structures were destroyed or damaged. But Joy Ansley, county manager for San Miguel County, said before the Hermits Peak / Golf Canyon fire spread on Friday, it had destroyed 200 structures.
Roger Montoya, the New Mexico state representative who covers the three districts currently affected by the fire, spent time with a group last week, distributing food and other supplies to residents who have not yet left. Some said there was no electricity.
“Individuals are reluctant to leave their homes,” he said.
Samuel Coca, general manager of a bar at the Castaneda Hotel in Las Vegas, NM, said he had three vehicles full of belongings if he and his family had to leave.
As the fire intensified on Friday, with the number of people leaving their homes, his bar began offering free buffet dinner to firefighters and evacuees. Many left the house with the clothes they were wearing and nothing else, he added.
“The first dozen people I spoke to lost everything,” Mr. Coca said. “They lost their homes, their farms, some livestock. It was hard to cross without crying in the afternoon.
“Friend of animals everywhere. Devoted analyst. Total alcohol scholar. Infuriatingly humble food trailblazer.”