Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire: Evacuations in place for some communities in Mora County

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MORA COUNTY, N.M. – As the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire continues to grow, more communities in Mora County have been given immediate evacuation orders.

As of Sunday, Holman and Chacon, Ojo Feliz, Apache Lake, Los Hueros, Los Lefebres, Ocate and Naranjos have been placed in Go Status. The fire has now burned 176,273 acres, and is 21% contained.

In Sunday morning’s update, fire officials say they are most concerned about the northwest fire line—with these strong winds, they have seen embers get blown over the fire line and start new spot fires. Plus, fire crews were only able to fly the tankers for an hour Sunday morning and were quickly grounded because of the winds.

“Our firefighters are fighting a battle against the amount of fire on the ground, along with the amount of wind. The wind is incredible, it’s precedent setting – the amount of wind we are going to have and the duration we are going to have it. They are predicting the wind all day today all night and all day tomorrow, that’s a long time for our firefighters to work in those conditions,” said Todd Abel operations section chief.

Even with the winds coming from the south and the west, fire crews say they have been able to contain the fire line around Mora, and they are confident of their work protecting the community of Las Vegas.

In Sunday evening’s fire briefing there was good news and bad news, the good news is they were able to contain most of the fire along 518 south of Mora to Las Vegas making the containment now 43%.

The bad news is the north end of the fire continues to spread because of the wind. The fire even crossed 518 near the town Holman, that has now been evacuated

“We are expecting to see that kind of spotting events against the terrain, the fuels, the trees, the grass, if everything is right we could see spotting up to a mile, mile and a half,” said Bales.

As the fire now spreads to the north, fire officials are urging everyone in the new evacuation zones to get out because the fire is on the way, and if you wait too long, the blowing smoke will make it very difficult to evacuate.

Volunteers also wanted to make sure the mothers who were evacuated were not forgotten, making sure every mom got something special.

“I think we couldn’t let this Mother’s Day holiday go unrecognized. Just because we are in the middle of a disaster doesn’t mean we forget our moms,” said Janna Lopez evacuee and volunteer.