Wildfire Watch: Latest on Hermits Peak Fire, Overflow Fire

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Wildfire season has officially begun. Another fire has erupted in Chaves County, near the Pecos River, east of Midway.

Several fire departments responded to fire, called the Overflow Fire, Thursday night. In a social media post, Dexter Fire Chief Justin Powell said crews managed to contain the west side of the fire overnight.

Both the Overflow Fire and the Hermits Peak Fire burning in San Miguel County started as prescribed burns that got out of control. The Hermits Peak Fire has burned around 400 acres northwest of Las Vegas. On Friday, Santa Fe National Forest officials announced they’re closing the fire area indefinitely.

There are three prescribed burns currently listed on the Incident Information System. It’s a one-stop shop for information on prescribed burns and wildfires on federal lands.

  • The Kiowa Rita Blanca prescribed burn is on land managed by the Cibola National Forest near the Oklahoma line. That burn was started on March 25 and crews expect to wrap up next Friday.
  • There are two prescribed fires burning in the Lincoln National Forest right now. The La Luz and Maruche Canyon prescribed fire and 16 Spring prescribed fire started March 22. Work on both fires is expected to wrap up at the end of the month.
  • Holloman Air Force Base is also planning a prescribed burn later this month – that fire is set to start April 23/24. Base officials said they’re removing salt cedar and potential wildfire fuel on a 95-acre area. The Holloman Wastewater Evaporation Pond will be closed to the public during that burn period.

There’s also a third wildfire – the Collins Fire is burning southeast of Reserve in the Gila National Forest. It’s burned around 1,200 acres and forest officials said it’s threatening multiple properties. No word yet on how this fire started.

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