Officials begin damage assessment in Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires

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MORA COUNTY, N.M. – The Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fires are still burning north of Las Vegas Monday and now officials say the fire covers 56,478 acres and is 12% contained.

Fire officials say they are hopeful they can get a handle on this fire in the next day or so after getting some moisture in the area Sunday night. They say any humidity or moisture helps slows down the spread of these fires.

“Today we got very different weather out there. Last night we had, what we call a good overnight recovery, meaning that as humidity levels increased moistens up those fine dead fuels and lets the fire behavior to settle down,” said Stewart Turner, fire behavior analyst.

Turner is expecting this calm weather to continue into Tuesday to give crew a chance to really work on containment and hold the fire line. He adds that the sheriffs’ office is heading into safer parts of the fire Monday to make damage assessments and check on structures, they will notify property owners of the conditions of their homes, and fire crews are continuing to protect any structures along the fire line.

“The best outcome that is realistic is that we don’t have any more big growth for the day, and in reality if we don’t lose any structures within the fire perimeter, that would be the best outcome,” said Turner.

Turner says fire teams are posted all along the fire perimeter, but one area they are really working to contain is along Highway 518. They last thing they want is for this fire to jump the highway.

The Mora San Miguel Electric Co-op cut power to 2,000 folks in the area and went to inspect the houses Monday with the sheriff’s office, they said they are not going to get the power back any time soon.

Evacuations: Mandatory “GO” evacuations determined by the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office and Mora County Sheriff’s Office remain in place in many areas, and some communities are still in “SET” and “READY” status. Evacuation status, repopulation and road closure changes will continue to be re-assessed by local law enforcement using the Ready, Set, Go! system. Please follow San Miguel County and Mora County Sheriff’s Facebook pages for the latest updates at and